The figurative language of Peter Morgan

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Peter Morgan.

I am not what you’d call a monarchist. Nevertheless, I’m interested enough in the history of Queen Elizabeth II to have seen the movie The Queen (starring Helen Mirrin), the stage play about her interactions with her prime ministers, The Audience (again, starring Helen Mirrin) and now my husband and I are watching the terrific Netflix series The Crown — allegedly the most expensive TV series ever made.

Here’s the interesting point: all of these works were written by the same man: Peter Morgan. A writer with a keen eye for historical detail (he is the author of another superb play/movie combo: Frost/Nixon), he also has a strong understanding of character and plot. Morgan understands how to take a story that everyone already knows and make it fascinating.

A positive review in the Nov. 4/16 New Yorker, by Michael Schulman, includes several amusing quotes from Morgan.

“She’s not a natural choice for a writer, being a monosyllabic woman of limited intelligence and imagination,” Morgan told me recently, before a screening at the Museum of Modern Art. “And I think that’s not an unkind thing to say. I’m sure she’d describe herself in that way. But she has extraordinary reservoirs of strength, of character and commitment and steadfastness, all of which happen to become quite interesting when you look at the catastrophic failure of leadership that we’ve experienced recently in our country and the crisis of leadership internationally. It’s hard to find figures you believe in.” He added, “As a writer, I would naturally have preferred her to be a sort of Tony Soprano figure, who’s sort of mood-changey and volatile.”

Imagining the Queen to be a Tony Soprano figure gave me my laugh of the day.

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