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Role   /roʊl/   Listen
Role

noun
1.
The actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group.  Synonyms: function, office, part.  "The government must do its part" , "Play its role"
2.
An actor's portrayal of someone in a play.  Synonyms: character, part, persona, theatrical role.
3.
What something is used for.  Synonyms: function, purpose, use.  "Ballet is beautiful but what use is it?"
4.
Normal or customary activity of a person in a particular social setting.



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"Role" Quotes from Famous Books



... of Jewels, Carrere and Hastings, architects, is the central structure in the Exposition architecture. (See p. 47.) It plays a triple role. In architecture it is the center on which all the other buildings are balanced. In relation to the theme of the Exposition, it is the triumphal gateway to the commemorative celebration of an event the history of which it summarizes in its sculpture, painting and inscription. Last ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... began to direct long voyages on the high seas and to discover the existence of new lands; and from that time to the present, Europeans have been busily exploring and conquering—veritably "Europeanizing"— the whole globe. Although religion as well as commerce played an important role in promoting the process, the movement was attended from the very outset by so startling a transformation in the routes, methods, and commodities of trade that usually it has been styled the Commercial Revolution. By the close of the sixteenth century it had proceeded far enough to indicate ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... the possible effect of nuclear explosions on ozone in the stratosphere. Not until the 20th century was the unique and paradoxical role of ozone fully recognized. On the other hand, in concentrations greater than I part per million in the air we breathe, ozone is toxic; one major American city, Los Angeles, has established a procedure for ozone alerts and warnings. On the other hand, ozone is a critically ...
— Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives • United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

... of Peeke's life after he came back to his own country, but there are strong reasons for believing that he returned to Tavistock. And if it was himself, and not a namesake, who flourished there, in 1638, our hero might be seen in an entirely new role, for that year Richard Peeke filled the peaceful ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... the Rue des Orties, a sudden recollection flashed across his mind. Was not that Chouteau, the former member of his squad, whom he had seen, in the blouse of a respectable workman, watching the execution and testifying his approval of it in a loud-mouthed way? He was a proficient in his role of bandit, traitor, robber, and assassin! For a moment the corporal thought he would retrace his steps, denounce him, and send him to keep company with the other three. Ah, the sadness of the thought; the guilty ever escaping punishment, parading their unwhipped infamy in the bright light of ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... knowing all the while that he must refuse in the end. Perhaps Turner had made the offer in Miriam's presence, expecting to find in her a powerful ally. It was only natural for him to think this. Ever since the beginning, men have assigned to women the role of the dissuader, the drag, the hinderer. It is always the woman, tradition tells us, who persuades the man to be a coward, to stay at home, to shirk a difficult ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... Spain, I found that Lorenzo Portet, who was carrying on the work of the martyred Francisco Ferrer, had reached this same conclusion. In Italy, Enrico Malatesta, the valiant leader who was after the war to play so dramatic a role, was likewise combating the current dogma of the orthodox Socialists. In Berlin, Rudolph Rocker was engaged in the thankless task of puncturing the articles of faith of the orthodox Marxian religion. It is quite needless to add that these men who had probed beneath the surface ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... obscure struggling, brought them into immediate wealth, but not at once into social notice. Their first efforts in that direction, or rather, her first efforts, were complete failures. They nibbled about on the outer edge; finally, it dawned upon her to play some decided role. She determined to be an aesthete. She built a house accordingly; she dressed accordingly; and she acted, but above all, she talked accordingly. Thanks to her wandering brother, an ideal American adventurer, she obtained from London, far ahead of the general importation, a complete ...
— The Inner Sisterhood - A Social Study in High Colors • Douglass Sherley et al.

... cigar with all humility as beseemed my role and followed the valet into an adjoining room, where the table was laid for me. I am keenly sensitive to outside influences, and I felt instinctively distrustful of the man Josef. I expect he resented my intrusion into a sphere where his influence had probably been supreme and ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... looked both relieved and vexed. This unexpected intervention would help him out of trouble, but he preferred not being recognized in such a role. At the station he had refused to tell ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... she had to play the part of guardian, and endeavored to fill the role with the dignity due to a lady of ...
— Nell, of Shorne Mills - or, One Heart's Burden • Charles Garvice

... the light now filled the stable, and I lay listening while their breakfast brought more talk from them. They were more at ease now than was I, who had nothing to do but carry out my role of slumber in the stall; they spoke in a friendly, ordinary way, as if this were like every other morning of the week to them. They addressed the prisoners with a sort of fraternal kindness, not bringing them pointedly into the conversation, nor yet pointedly leaving them ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... of final victory, and without hesitation as to its subsequent role in France, the party will never deviate from the line of conduct laid out. As the solidarity of workmen does not shut out the right to defend themselves against traitor workmen, so international solidarity does not exclude the right of one nation to defend itself against a Government traitor ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... have points, and nobody knows them better than Waring Ridgway," she told him jauntily. "But you needn't play that role to the address of Aline Harley. Try ME. I'm immune to romance. Besides, I'm engaged to you," she added, laughing at the inconsequence the fact seemed to have for both ...
— Ridgway of Montana - (Story of To-Day, in Which the Hero Is Also the Villain) • William MacLeod Raine

... in it because I say it. But now that he's coming into the family, Lord John or somebody really ought to point out—Stonor's overdoing his role of magnificent security.' ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... and he debated it mentally all the evening, as he talked the set conversation of such an occasion. He knew no one; but every one knew him; yet he had no difficulty in getting on, because there was no sense in any of the conversation. He could answer all the remarks regarding his new role of political leader without committing himself to anything serious. Bright eyes flashed meaning and soulful glances into his, as sweet lips said things which he could answer quite as well as if the context of the conversation had been ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... endure. I am fettered by cowardice, I am enfeebled by disastrous memories; and I am maimed by old follies. Still, I seem to detect in myself something which is permanent and rather fine. Underneath everything, and in spite of everything, I really do seem to detect that something. What role that something is to enact after the death of my body, and upon what stage, I cannot guess. When fortune knocks I shall open the door. Meanwhile I tell you candidly, you brown man, there is something in Jurgen far too ...
— Jurgen - A Comedy of Justice • James Branch Cabell

... hundred acres in Upson County, [HW: and] [Mr. Willis] owned only about 50 or 60 slaves as well as Henry can remember. The old man considers Mr. Willis "the best marster that a darky ever had," saying that he "sho" made his darkies work and mind, but he never beat them or let the patter-role do it, though sometimes he did use a switch on 'em". Henry recalls that he received "a sound whuppin onct, 'case he throwed a rock at one o' Marse Jasper's fine cows and broke ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Georgia Narratives, Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... be the moral image of Martha Washington, and she started a discussion whether Carrington or Lord Dunbeg would best suit her in the role of the General. ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... approve of Wrotham to begin with, but it had its advantages, even for her. She settled very quickly into the role of Lady Bountiful; the villagers gazing upon her with such unmixed admiration that she was moved to remark to Mabel that it was really pleasant doing things for such grateful people. Dick provided her with a victoria and horse in place of the usual doctor's trap, and she ...
— To Love • Margaret Peterson

... afford the most perfect examples of sexual development, the cases are not infrequent in which the female equals, and sometimes even exceeds, the male in size and strength and in beauty of plumage. The curious case of the Phalaropes furnished us with a remarkable example of a reversal of the role of the sexes. We found further that (1) an extravagant development of the secondary sexual characters was not really favourable to the reproductive process, the males thus differentiated belonging to a lower grade of sexual evolution, being bad fathers and ...
— The Truth About Woman • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... intelligence. This grave ill came to make an open break in the household calm, hitherto undisturbed on the surface. Low company and its brutalizing influences were tending to bring about a state of things to which the most patient of wives might find it hard to submit. A role of complete self-effacement was not one it was in her power long to sustain, and the utter moral solitude into which she was thrown consolidated those forces inclining her to the extreme of self-assertion. For together with trials without came the growing sense of superiority, ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... occupied the same position as did Octavius in his combat with Antony. The role of the latter general was now taken by Doria. Antony, like Doria, had heavy ships which could not advance to the attack owing to their too great draught. Octavius, with his light-draught ships, could both attack and retreat ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... day it was a dog, even dirtier and more forlorn, perhaps, than was the kitten; and again Miss Polly, to her dumfounded amazement, found herself figuring as a kind protector and an angel of mercy—a role that Pollyanna so unhesitatingly thrust upon her as a matter of course, that the woman—who abhorred dogs even more than she did cats, if possible—found herself as ...
— Pollyanna • Eleanor H. Porter

... When with both hands he tossed his long dark brown locks back from his forehead, and looked about with great shining expectant eyes, then instantly some new plan of comradeship darted into Oscar's busy brain; some new play in which Fani would be of use, either in the role of Artist, or Noble Bandit, or Tragedy-King. Oscar was always planning the establishment of something grand; a Club, or Association, or Band of Fellowship of some kind; and he needed for carrying out his numerous and complicated projects, a skilful, intelligent, ...
— Gritli's Children • Johanna Spyri

... Ashamed to play the role of a Christian clergy guarding silence on the indispensable duty of saving the souls of the colored people, certain of the most influential southern ministers hit upon the scheme of teaching illiterate Negroes the principles of Christianity by memory training or the teaching ...
— The Education Of The Negro Prior To 1861 • Carter Godwin Woodson

... unwilling to leave the conversation at just this point. "There is another side to all this, Alice dear, which you mustn't overlook," she said, seriously. "It is woman's part to inspire rather than to do, and the fact that it is often the more difficult role to play perhaps makes it the nobler part, after all. The world sings of the bravery of men who go forth to battle; we older women know that it takes no less courage to let them go and to content ourselves in our impotency, while they are spurred on by the excitement which ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... can seem to make light of his apprehensions, and look down du haut de ma grandeur on his youthful ardour. To him I can speak as if, in my eyes, they were both children. Let me see if I can keep up the same role with her. I have known the moment when I seemed about to forget it, when Confusion and Submission seemed about to crush me with their soft tyranny, when my tongue faltered, and I have almost let the ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... going on at the other end of the line; but since Mr. Watson was a rather shy person it is possible he was quite as well pleased. After all, it was Mr. Bell whom everybody wanted to see and of course Mr. Watson understood this. Therefore he was quite content to act his modest role and not only gather together at his end of the wire cornet soloists, electric organs, brass bands, or whatever startling novelties the occasion demanded, but talk or sing himself. The shyest of men can sometimes out-Herod Herod if not obliged ...
— Ted and the Telephone • Sara Ware Bassett

... O Hortensius," added Ancyrus, who had taken upon himself the role of a wise and prudent counsellor, "and moreover he will be rich by virtue of the wealth which the Augusta will have as her marriage portion; her money, merged with the State funds, would be of vast ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... until they reached Elandsfontein, but there a battle took place in which big guns played the main role, although there was also some heavy fighting ...
— Three Years' War • Christiaan Rudolf de Wet

... hours which ensued Latimer tried to distract his mind from his own immediate troubles by dwelling with decent sympathy on the second housemaid's bereavement, but he found himself more often wondering how many Boy Scouts were sharing his Melton overcoat. The role of Saint Martin malgre lui was not one which appealed ...
— Beasts and Super-Beasts • Saki

... why they had come. But there was a barrier of intelligence that could not be crossed. The Dusties learned simple things, but only slowly and imperfectly. They seemed content to take on their mock overseer's role, moving in and about the village, approving or disapproving, but always trying to help. Some became personal pets, though "pet" was the wrong word, because it was more of a strange personal friendship limited by utter lack of communication, than any animal-and-master relationship. The colonists ...
— Image of the Gods • Alan Edward Nourse

... has this peculiarity, that the title role is by no means its most important or interesting character. Indeed it might with more propriety have been called Marrion, since hers is not only the central figure in the plot, but emphatically the one over which Mrs. F. A. Steel has expended most care and affection. Moreover the untimely ...
— Punch, Volume 153, July 11, 1917 - Or the London Charivari. • Various

... him their all. Indeed there are some of these priests who have a special compact with the Devil, who lends them signal aid and assistance, Almighty God permitting this for his own hidden purposes. The Devil communicates with them through their idols or anitos, playing the role of the dead man whom they are adoring; and often he enters into the person of the priest himself, for the short space of the sacrifice, and makes him say and do things which overwhelm and terrify the onlookers. This divine fervor is also attained ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XII, 1601-1604 • Edited by Blair and Robertson

... delicious coolness of the room caused her to close her eyes gratefully—gave her a queer sensation of sinking away into nothing, and an odd desire, hardly felt before it had vanished, that this might really be the case, and so that she might escape the hard role ...
— Frances Kane's Fortune • L. T. Meade

... "Hasta decir los mismos Hollandeses que lo desconozcan," says Ronquillo. "Il est absolument mal propre pour le role qu'il a a jouer a l'heure qu'il est," says Avaux. "Slothful and sickly," says ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Darst departed and Mr. Middleton sat engrossed in reflection upon the chain of unpleasant circumstances that had forced upon him the unavoidable and distasteful role of a bribe-taker. Yet how else could he have carried off the part he had assumed? How else could he have obtained custody of Mr. Brockelsby? And surely the doctors richly deserved punishment. It was not meet that they should go scot free and in no other way could he bring it about ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... of "time" at the Standard, so he now put on a play, translated by Henri Rochefort, called "A Daughter of Ireland," in which Georgia Cayvan had the title role. Here he scored another failure, but his ardor remained undampened and he went on to what looked at that moment to be the biggest thing ...
— Charles Frohman: Manager and Man • Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

... for the role of OEdipus; I know you have the wit and beauty of a sphinx, but don't propound conundrums. Speak out, ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... behind that mask of innocence he wore. He did not even remotely guess it as yet, but he was far closer to the truth than he pretended. The girl knew she should leave him and go about her work. Her role was to appear as inconspicuous as possible, but she could not resist the fascination of trying to probe ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling ...
— The 2005 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... time the gallant fight the old man opposite him was making to keep up that obstinate gay courage whose outward expression had so irritated the doctor. And, all at once, McPherson ceased to become the gruff friend and assumed the role that Ananias's physician probably acquired from his famous patient and which, most assuredly, he has handed down ...
— The Return of Peter Grimm - Novelised From the Play • David Belasco

... represents, and discusses Transcendental philosophy and its relation to music. The essays explain Ives' own philosophy of and understanding of music and art. They also serve as an analysis of music itself as an artform, and provide a critical explanation of the "Concord" and the role that the philosophies of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and the Alcotts play ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... observe the relative times of maturing anthers and stigmas in the flowers, as thereby hangs a tale in which some insect plays an interesting role. The figwort matures its stigma at the lip of the style before its anthers have ripened their pollen. Why? By having the stigma of a newly opened flower thrust forward to the mouth of the corolla, an insect alighting on the lip, which forms his only convenient ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... it. Where might the others of the Legion be? No indication of them could be made out. No other living thing seemed in the woods encircling the stockade. Was each man really there and ready for the predetermined role he ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... that would be the most difficult time to play such a role," Miss Harding said. "We know those who cannot be gentlemen even under the most encouraging circumstances. The greatest happiness which can come to a good woman is to marry the man she loves, and if she allows wealth, position or any other selfish consideration ...
— John Henry Smith - A Humorous Romance of Outdoor Life • Frederick Upham Adams

... when the stately rendition of the masterpieces, even with the greatest tragedians in the role, weary us, and we give glad welcome to Bob Acres with 'his courage oozing out at his finger ends,' or to dear old Rip and 'Here's to yourself and to your family. Jus' one more; ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... that the role of Kirby wearies me," I said. "I am an English gentleman, and I will not fire upon ...
— To Have and To Hold • Mary Johnston

... I to assume the role of prophet? Perhaps, like a good many prophets, I see too much in the future that never ...
— The Radio Boys Trailing a Voice - or, Solving a Wireless Mystery • Allen Chapman

... was, however, equal to the occasion. He assumed the role of an injured man. He had come to remonstrate with the half-breeds, ...
— The Red Man's Revenge - A Tale of The Red River Flood • R.M. Ballantyne

... was no time to quit the field. Of the first number of the resurrected Visiter, the St. Cloud Printing Co. was publisher, and I sole editor. I prepared the contents very carefully, that they might not give unnecessary offense, dropped the role of supporting Buchanan, and tried to make a strong Republican paper of the abolition type, and in the leader gave a history of the ...
— Half a Century • Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm

... felt the courage to tackle the business. But knowing the man, knowing also Lady Auriol and having in the meantime made the acquaintance of Mademoiselle Elodie Figasso and Horatio Bakkus, playing, in fact, a minor role, say, that of Charles, his friend, in the little drama of his life, I eventually decided to carry out my good friend's wishes. The major part of my task has been a matter of arrangement, of joining up flats, as they say in the theatre, of ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... 'discussed a brace of muffins and so many eggs,' the new Romeo started for the playhouse, and that very day bills were posted to the effect that 'a Gentleman of Fashion would make his first appearance on February 9 in a role of Shakespeare.' All the lower boxes were immediately secured by Lady Belmore and other lights of Bath. 'Butlers and Abigails,' it is said, 'were commanded by their mistresses to take their stand ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... the ring-leader and rescue the victim by force of arms. From that day Stuart was Bivens's beau-ideal of a gentleman. He had tolerated rather than enjoyed this friendship, but it was so genuine he couldn't ignore the little dark-eyed taciturn fellow who was destined to play so tremendous a role ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... therefore, as presumptive rather than as genuine criminals. In general, therefore, they should not be arrested, should not be put in jail with older offenders, and should be tried by a special court in which the judge representing the state plays the role of a parent. For the most part, delinquent children may be dealt with, as we have already seen by putting them upon probation under the care of proper probation officers. When the home surroundings are not good, such children may often be placed in families and their reformation ...
— Sociology and Modern Social Problems • Charles A. Ellwood

... is in the control of phosphorus. If we consider the minerals as the foundation and mortar which give stability to the vital machine, leaving out chlorine and fluorine, we find that iron, manganese, potash, soda, and silicic acid play this role. Sulphur, because it possesses the property of becoming gaseous, is able to take part directly in the formation of albumen, that variable basis of body material, whereas all of the other mineral substances except silicic acid can only be assimiliated in so-called ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... not want him any more; she could not contemplate his assumption of the husbandly role. It sounded strange as she uttered it aloud to herself, but ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... conception of the human world as a stage may be paralleled in the animal world. Animals, like human beings, have all a definite role to play in the drama of life. Each is given certain equipment in form, colour, voice, demeanour, ambitions, desires, and natural habitat. Some are given much, others but little. Many have succeeded well in the art of camouflage while endeavouring to make a success in ...
— The Human Side of Animals • Royal Dixon

... distinguished strangers who passed through Paris that year of 1878. Many of our colleagues in the diplomatic corps had played a great role in their own country. Prince Orloff, the Russian ambassador, was one of our great friends. He gave us very good advice on one or two occasions. He was a distinguished-looking man—always wore a black patch over one eye—he ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... rather you who have no brains, if you think me so foolish as all that; it is with a purpose that I play this idiot's role, for I love to drink the lifelong day, and so it pleases me to keep a thief for my minister. When he has thoroughly gorged himself, then I overthrow and ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... too trifling to affect the question, they believe the laborer who feels no stimulus but that of wages and no restraint but that of law, is the most profitable, not only to himself and society at large, but to any employer other than a brutal tyrant. The benefit of this role they claim for every man and woman living within this republic, till on fair trial the proper tribunal shall have judged them unworthy of it. They deny both the justice and expediency of permitting any degree of ignorance or debasement to work the forfeiture of self-ownership, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... chase, he said to himself grimly. He did not particularly like the role of fox, but once he had undertaken it he would play it to the last detail. He went down into the valley which was like a bowl filled with a vast mass of bushes and briars, many of the briars covered with ripe berries, a fact ...
— The Eyes of the Woods - A story of the Ancient Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... a time, it would seem, when not only the Jews themselves but the world at large were so ready for this reconstruction. If in the very near future, as seems probable, the Jews are again to play a prominent role in history, it will be more largely through the pressure exerted by the world outside than through their own initiative. Men are coming more and more to need what the Jewish people, under certain conditions, ...
— The Menorah Journal, Volume 1, 1915 • Various

... Gospel ministry can no longer look elsewhere. If it is to continue to wield its mighty influence for good, and to play its magnificent role of leadership in our developing civilization, especially among our rapidly increasing educated classes, it must more and more come into its rightful inheritance, so long withheld, of that broader conception of brotherhood and Christianity that ...
— On the Firing Line in Education • Adoniram Judson Ladd

... precocious boys—enfants terribles they must be in real life. In Ibn Khall. (iii. 104) we find notices of a book "Kitab Nujaba al-Abna" Treatise on Distinguished Children, by Ibn Zakar al- Sakalli (the Sicilian), ob. A. D. 1169-70. And the boy-Kazi is a favourite role in the plays of peasant-lads who enjoy the irreverent "chaff" almost as much as when "making a Pasha." This reminds us of the boys electing Cyrus as their King in sport (Herodotus, i. 114). For the cycle of "Precocious Children" and their adventures, see ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... manifesting his distrust of them, more especially in the matter of the distribution of patronage, thereby relieving them in a great measure from that responsibility, which is in all free countries the most effectual security against the abuse of power, and tempting them to endeavour to combine the role of popular tribunes with the prestige of ministers of ...
— British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government - 1839-1854 • J. L. Morison

... New York papers the other day read that a prominent Socialist, who occupied a box in the theatre where a play was given in which Socialism is attacked, stood up and offered to harangue the audience between the acts. The actor who played the role of the wicked capitalist came on the stage and invited the audience to vote whether they cared to hear the Socialist or him. The audience thereupon voted both down. But the management the next Sunday evening very ...
— Commercialism and Journalism • Hamilton Holt

... the story. If a natural force, the wind, for example, is represented as talking and acting like a human being in the story, it can be imaged by a person in the play; but if it remains a part of the picture in the story, performing only its natural motions, it is a caricature to enact it as a role. The most powerful instance of a mistake of this kind which I have ever seen will doubtless make my meaning clear. In playing a pretty story about animals and children, some children in a primary school were made by the teacher to take the part of the sea. In the story, the sea was said to "beat ...
— Stories to Tell to Children • Sara Cone Bryant

... her head thrown back like Mlle. Duchesnois in the character of Chimene, meaning by this comparison to stigmatize her attitude and language as theatrical. So effective was her appeal that he felt the need of something to save his own role, and accordingly he bowed her to a chair, and in the moment thus gained determined to strike the key of high comedy. Taking up the conversation in turn, he scrutinized the beauties of her person, and, complimenting her ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... somewhat vicious. I always have believed that the black man is an inferior animal—in fact, that the dark races are meant to be drawers of water and hewers of wood. I do not deny that they have souls to be saved, but I believe that their role in this world is to attend on the white man. The black is, and for years has been, educated on perfect equality with the white man, and has had every chance of improving himself—with what result? You could almost count on your fingers the names of those who have distinguished themselves ...
— Sketches From My Life - By The Late Admiral Hobart Pasha • Hobart Pasha

... strain the law, or allow it to be strained; if refractory, a summary blow dealt by the local Jacobins forces his legal authority to yield to their illegal dictate, so that he has to resign himself to being either their accomplice or their puppet. Such a role is intolerable to a man of feeling or conscience. Hence, in 1790 and 1791, nearly all the prominent and reputable men who, in 1789, had seats in the Hotels-de-villes, or held command in the National Guard, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger; I do not shrink from this responsibility. . .I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, ...
— Kennedy's Inaugural Address

... friends, and Richard had written many articles and stories for Collier's Weekly, so that when Collier urged my brother to go to the Japanese-Russian War as correspondent with the Japanese forces, Richard promptly gave up his playwriting and returned to his old love—the role of reporter. Accompanied by his wife, Richard left New York for San ...
— Adventures and Letters • Richard Harding Davis

... he had come to Onslow Crescent, he did not expect to spend a pleasant evening. When I declare that as yet he had not come to any firm resolution, I fear that he will be held as being too weak for the role of hero even in such pages as these. Perhaps no terms have been so injurious to the profession of the novelist as those two words, hero and heroine. In spite of the latitude which is allowed to the writer in putting his own ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... testimony may be accepted. I see no reason why he should state what is not true; he was well informed, as he belonged to the Committee of Public Safety. His statements, besides, on the complicity d the Mountain and on the role of Danton are confirmed by the whole mass of facts.—Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 200 (speech by Danton in the Convention, June 13). "Without the canon of the 31st of May, without the insurrection the conspirators would have triumphed; they would have given us the law. Let the crime of that ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... remain here for a few hours at least," she continued, an expression of anxiety flitting over her face, "and if I expect to carry out my plans successfully I must begin by assuming a submissive role." ...
— The Masked Bridal • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... governess out of a job, satisfying a craving for excitement and playing the mysterious role as part of the adventure. Am I to assume that you've burned your play and ...
— Lady Larkspur • Meredith Nicholson

... that pleased in the day of prosperity; the dance, the banquet, and those visits that won the momentary gratification of flattery and admiration were sighed for. So irksome was the monotony and so uncongenial the role forced upon them by disguise, they hailed with joy the least circumstance that might be the ...
— Alvira: the Heroine of Vesuvius • A. J. O'Reilly

... Louis muttering—mostly in French. Each time she spoke softly to him as she used to speak to her father when he was ill. To her he suddenly became an invalid; as the days went on she accepted the role of mother and nurse to him; only occasionally did a more normal love flame out, bewildering and enchanting as his kisses on the Oriana had enchanted and bewildered her. She felt, often, contemptuous of a man who had to stay in bed and have his clothes locked up to save him from getting ...
— Captivity • M. Leonora Eyles

... together, submitted their account to Captain Tiago—which amounted to several thousand pesos—and very early on the following day, left for Manila in the Captain's carriage. To timid Linares they intrusted the role of ...
— Friars and Filipinos - An Abridged Translation of Dr. Jose Rizal's Tagalog Novel, - 'Noli Me Tangere.' • Jose Rizal

... father. Yah!" But here the small insulter incontinently fled, pursued by both the boys. Nevertheless, when he had made good his escape, John Milton showed neither a disposition to take up his former nautical role, nor to follow his companion to visit the sanguinary scene of Elijah's disappearance. He walked slowly back to the store and continued his work of sweeping and putting in order with an abstracted regularity, and no trace ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... G. O'Neill's, of Provincetown, drama, has been produced in Boston. The Provincetown players may be said to have done themselves well by presenting as a maiden effort in Boston, this play by O'Neill in which Charles Gilpin plays the leading role. "The Emperor Jones" is O'Neill's first offering to Boston theatre world although he learned his trade at Prof. Baker's Harvard ...
— Cape Cod and All the Pilgrim Land, June 1922, Volume 6, Number 4 • Various

... their wits. The freemen, who are the central figures in the novel, are involved in a great variety of experiences, most of them of a disgraceful sort, and the story is a story of low life. Women play an important role in the narrative, more important perhaps than they do in any other kind of ancient literature—at least their individuality is more marked. The efficient motif is erotic. I say the efficient, because the conventional motif which seems to account for all the ...
— The Common People of Ancient Rome - Studies of Roman Life and Literature • Frank Frost Abbott

... hope to get a glimpse of the speakers, for I felt sure that this was an affair of gravity in which ordinary scruples ought not to count. It seemed to me that the woman was in peril; at any rate the man had not disavowed a willingness to murder. When a man is enacting the role of potential assassin he has not the ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... skilful use of query, suggestion and reminder, had tempted him into talking "shop." He had been lured into the role of monologuist for the benefit of his host, Arthur Sloane. He had talked brilliantly, at length, in detail, holding his three hearers in spellbound and fascinated interest while he discoursed on crimes which he had probed and criminals whom ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... sees, or at least represents, with hardly any exceptions as mere fools of love, mere wax to the wooer, who have no separate identities till some lover shapes them. To something like this simplicity the role of women in love is reduced by those Boccaccian fabulists who adorn the village taproom and ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... upon his book, the narrative of the expedition. It was repugnant to him. Long since he had lost all interest in polar exploration. As he had said to Adler, he was out of it, finally and irrevocably. His bolt was shot; his role upon the stage of the world was ended. He only desired now to be forgotten as quickly as possible, to lapse into mediocrity as easily and quietly as he could. Fame was nothing to him now. The thundering applause ...
— A Man's Woman • Frank Norris

... to the altar on the same day that his sister was married, but in vain, for that young lady declared that she would rather take a second class character in the interesting tableau this time, with the view of being better able to sustain the role of the principal actress in a similar pageant at some future time. With this decision Tom had to remain satisfied for the present and attend to business. But in the course of time circumstances transpired which prevented him from attaining ...
— Vellenaux - A Novel • Edmund William Forrest

... forth entire freedom. In France every popular class is tinged with political idealism, and does not feel primarily as a particular class, but as the representative of social needs generally. The role of emancipator, therefore, flits from one class to another of the French people in a dramatic movement, until it eventually reaches the class which will no longer realize social freedom upon the basis of certain conditions lying outside of mankind and yet created by ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... outgrowth of the pious plays of the Middle Ages and designed for edifying consumption in Lent, it is likely that they adhered in their plots pretty close to the Biblical accounts. I doubt if the sentimental element which was in vogue when Rossini wrote "Mose in Egitto" played much of a role in such an opera as Johann Philipp Fortsch's "Kain und Abel; oder der verzweifelnde Brudermorder," which was performed in Hamburg in 1689, or even in "Abel's Tod," which came along in 1771. The first fratricidal murder seems to have had an early and an enduring fascination for ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... his dashing appearance, his decision of character, could not fail to please the masses, to whom his degradations were, for the most part, unknown, and indeed the bourgeoisie themselves scarcely suspected its extent. Max played a role at Issoudun which was something like that of the blacksmith in the "Fair Maid of Perth"; he was the champion of Bonapartism and the Opposition; they counted upon him as the burghers of Perth counted upon Smith on great occasions. A single incident will put this hero and victim ...
— The Celibates - Includes: Pierrette, The Vicar of Tours, and The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... begins with the sole rule of Constantine, A. D. 324, or his sole reign in the West, A. D. 312, and extends to the beginning of the Middle Ages, or that period in which the Germanic nations assumed the leading role in the political life of western Europe. The end of this division of Church history may be placed, at the latest, about the middle of the eighth century, as the time when the authority of the Eastern Empire ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... is real in every respect, as real as a combat between armies of living soldiers. In this conflict, going on in all acute inflammatory diseases, mind plays the same role as ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... be indeed a charming role," said Ribas, rubbing his hands with delight. "I shall admirably acquit myself as benefactor and mediator. But give ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... unpleasant turn, and she was satisfied if, in an ebullition of gratitude, he then pressed her to his heart, kissed her hands and her cheeks, and assured her that she was the dearest, noblest, and most lovable woman whom he had ever known. But when she played this role of a feminine providence, who was apparently free from the ordinary weaknesses of her sex, when she carefully repressed every emotion of jealousy at the sight of his inconstancy, she was not free from a selfish ...
— How Women Love - (Soul Analysis) • Max Simon Nordau

... whispered to Patty, "it's been a great success! I don't see how you ever had the nerve to try it, but it worked all right!" Then he went away, and Patty and Mona sank limply into chairs and shook with laughter. Susan instantly returned to her role of servant, and stood before Patty, as ...
— Patty's Butterfly Days • Carolyn Wells

... door he knocked imperiously, and after a second, rapped again. Mrs. Carter was busy in the kitchen. She resented the hastiness of the summons. Under no circumstances would she let herself be seen in the role of kitchen girl. She clung to appearances with a tenacity that nothing could shake. Long practice in this sort of thing, however, had made her very expert; and by the time Mr. Hand had thundered at the knocker ...
— The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage • Charles G. D. Roberts

... Prominent among these for brilliancy and fiery zeal was a student more than thirty years younger than his teacher, Guillaume Farel, destined to fill an important place in the annals of the French reformation, and to play a leading role in the history of Geneva and Neufchatel. Farel was born in 1489, near Gap, in Dauphiny, and his childhood was spent at the foot of the Alps. Unlike Lefevre, he belonged to a family of considerable importance in the provincial nobility. The contrast was still more marked between the mild and ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... his liberty and the communes the flower of their militia. The successors of Ferrand sank deeper and deeper into dependence on the Capets, until the communes were forced in self-defence to assume the leading role. At Courtrai (in 1302) they turned the tables on the Crown, and took an ample vengeance for Bouvines, by a terrible slaughter of French knights and men-at-arms, demonstrating to a startled Europe that feudal tactics were obsolete, and that ...
— Medieval Europe • H. W. C. Davis

... education with the Dominicans, taking the leading role in all the plays given in the tiny theatre of the friars, and always with a place in the first line on prize days. The Party organ dedicated an annual article to the scholastic prodigies of the "gifted son of our distinguished chief don Ramon Brull, the country's hope, who already ...
— The Torrent - Entre Naranjos • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... coffee-house came and stared at me. Two new customers came up, and I was pointed out as an Englishman. They talked about me in Turkish; other Turks came, they talked about England's role in the war, they scolded, gesticulated, poured forth endlessly, forgot me. Once more, though in a ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... from England when that monarch became a fugitive to escape the wrath of his subjects. And the Marquess of Lorne sank to the role of pot-house bully in the ...
— Ralestone Luck • Andre Norton

... government was the occasion for a letter to my father from Mr. Croker, in which that gentleman appears to admiration in the characteristic role of candid friend. I print this, not only as a typical effort of that critical spirit, but because it contains a very just appreciation of my mother's great qualities, to which her husband and ...
— Charles Philip Yorke, Fourth Earl of Hardwicke, Vice-Admiral R.N. - A Memoir • Lady Biddulph of Ledbury

... would group together five or six of the first-class actors of those days—Booth, Forrest, Cooper, Hamblin, and John R. Scott, for instance. At that time and here George Jones ("Count Joannes") was a young, handsome actor, and quite a favorite. I remember seeing him in the title role in "Julius Caesar," and a capital performance ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... however, satisfied with conferring this favour. It was ordered that Jasmin should be made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, at the same time that Balzac, Frederick Soulie, and Alfred de Musset, were advanced to the same role of honour. The minister, in conveying the insignia ...
— Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist • Samuel Smiles

... one chapter of his work in a most interesting manner on "Le role d'Averroes dans la peinture Italienne du moyen age," pp. (301-16). The illustrations above given are ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... said, drawing near him and taking the role of comforter at once. "Do not think I blame you. I know you did your best with your blessed, nigh-to glasses on, but we younger folks have long vision, you know. Do you remember how you once told me to swallow your pills without biting them? I obeyed you for a long, long time; but I've ...
— The Place Beyond the Winds • Harriet T. Comstock

... the seventh day since her inspired idea had been born within her. And it was only that very day that she had landed at Cherbourg. Three months must pass before Olivetta, in the role of Mrs. De Peyster, would return, and she could be herself again—if they could ever, ever manage their expected re-exchange of personalities in this ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... would tend to excite such impulses and thoughts must be tested by the court's opinion as to its effect on a person with average sex instincts—what the French would call 'l'homme moyen sensuel'—who plays, in this branch of legal inquiry, the same role of hypothetical reagent as does the 'reasonable man' in the law of torts and 'the learned man in the art' on questions of ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... convinced Maya she was on the right track. But she needed to move cautiously, if she was not to arouse immediate suspicion. So she adhered strictly to her role for nearly a month, keeping her ...
— Rebels of the Red Planet • Charles Louis Fontenay

... gates of the enclosure were at last shut upon the steam-horse, a broader and more congenial field of duty opened before him. From the role of dray-horse he passed to that of courser. Marvels from the ends of the earth he had, with many a pant and heave, forward pull and backward push, brought together and dumped in their allotted places. Now it became his task to bear ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... laughed a blithe laugh and tossed another peeling to the yellow rooster, who had dropped the role of harbinger of evil and was posing ...
— Aunt Jane of Kentucky • Eliza Calvert Hall

... 1705, a party of four was assembled in the Neuhaus, the seldom-used country mansion of Madame de Ruth, an important personage at Stuttgart's court, and of Monsieur de Ruth, an undistinguished character, who played no role that we know of, save to bequeath his ancient ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... evening dress—Rounceby in dinner coat and black tie, as befitted his role of travelling American. The glasses in front of them were only half-filled, and had remained so for the last hour. Their conversation had been nervous and spasmodic. It was obvious that they were ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... with the little Baroness; who was one of the licensed distributors of celebrity and quasi-celebrity for all those who live upon gossip and for gossip-great ladies who love to see their names in print, and actresses wild over a new role; who was one of the chroniclers of fashion, received everywhere, flattered, caressed, petted; whom the Prince had just seen, very elegant with his stick and eyeglass, and his careless, disdainful air; and who had said, like a man accustomed ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... There was also a busy time among our machine gunners, who trained spare teams up to nearly three times our establishment, which was invaluable, as it enabled us to take advantage of the chance which came to us of going abroad with six machine guns per regiment instead of three. As our usual role on Gallipoli was to take over with three squadrons, whose effective strength was never more than 100 each at the most, and generally considerably less, from four companies of infantry, each numbering anything from 150 to 180 strong, these extra machine guns were worth their weight ...
— The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry - and 14th (F. & F. Yeo.) Battn. R.H. 1914-1919 • D. D. Ogilvie

... la nature humaine; qu'il ait par consequent beaucoup de finesse, mais nulle sensibilite, ou, ce qui est la meme chose, l'art de tout imiter, et une egale aptitude a toutes sortes de caracteres et de roles; s'il etait sensible, il lui serait impossible de jouer dix fois de suite le meme role avec la meme chaleur et le meme succes; tres chaud a la premiere representation, il serait epuise et froid comme le marble a la troisieme,' &c. Diderot's Works (ed. 1821), iii. 274. See Boswell's Hebrides, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... attraction exerted by the magnet upon the body under experiment, and the attraction exerted by the air. If the body is more sensitive than the air, there is direct magnetism, but if it is less so, there is diamagnetism. Water between the bodies, in the Bjerknes experiments, plays the same role; it is this which, by its vibration, transmits the motions and determines the phases in the suspended body. If the body is heavier than water its motion is less than that of the liquid, and, consequently, relatively to the vibrating ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 315, January 14, 1882 • Various

... being, however, all went well. In his role of lecturer he offended no one, and Phyllis and her father behaved admirably. They received the strangest theories without a twitch ...
— Love Among the Chickens - A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm • P. G. Wodehouse

... joy of living. Laughter and oaths resounded. Mr. Tubbs, with a somewhat anxious air, endeavored to keep himself well to the fore, claiming a share in the triumph with the rest. There was only the thinnest veil of concealment over the pirates' mockery. "Old Washtubs" was ironically encouraged in his role of boon companion. His air of swaggering recklessness, of elderly dare-deviltry, provoked uproarious amusement. When they sat down to supper Mr. Tubbs was installed at the head of the table. They hailed him ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... of his role which makes for social success. He bowed with the right inclination, and spoke with a gravity dictated by respect. "I'm afraid I must introduce myself, Mrs. Darling. I'm so late. I'm Claude Masterman. ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... seemed to her the most pathetic thing about him; it was so sorry. It was indeed the epitome of his tragedy. To be as unobtrusive as possible, and, when necessarily in evidence, as pleasant as possible, was the role he had assigned himself. It was the one thing he could do, the only thing he could do ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... Oba, taking with him a gift of double rice-cakes. At Oba he was met by a personage called the Kame-da-yu, who brought the fire-drill from Kumano and delivered it to the priests at Oba. According to tradition, the Kame-da- yu had to act a somewhat ludicrous role so that no Shinto priest ever cared to perform the part, and a man was hired for it. The duty of the Kame-da-yu was to find fault with the gift presented to the temple by the Kokuzo; and in this district of Japan there is still a proverbial saying about one who is prone to find fault without reason, ...
— Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan - First Series • Lafcadio Hearn

... the staggers, or a knauish boy of the schoole, or an idle girle of the wheele, or a young drab of the sullens, and hath not fat enough for her porredge, nor her father, and mother, butter enough for their bread; and she haue a little helpe of the Mother, Epilepsie, or Cramp, to teach her role her eyes, wrie her mouth, gnash her teeth, startle with her body, holde her armes and hands stiffe, make anticke faces, grine, mow, and mop like an Ape, tumble like a Hedge-hogge, and can mutter out two or three words of gibridg, as obus, bobus: and then with-all old mother Nobs hath called ...
— Discovery of Witches - The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster • Thomas Potts

... terrible, none the less, although the eyes of Alice Strowbridge shone sombrely, her hands twined together in embarrassment, as they did the first time she sang in public as a child. The very shoulders under the heavy laces caught a plaintive droop, learned in no role of Marguerite in any land. The red rose at her hair—the rose got from some mysterious source—half trembled. Fear, a great fear—the first stage fright known in years—swept over Alice Strowbridge, late artist, and now woman. There sat upon ...
— Heart's Desire • Emerson Hough

... early days it has made its appearance in the history of every country and it has played a great role in ...
— Ancient Man - The Beginning of Civilizations • Hendrik Willem Van Loon

... be difficult to surpass in its subtle cruelty the etiquette at a military function. The lieutenant and his wife come early,—this is expected of them. For a few moments they play the role of honored guests. The wife is shown by her hostess to the sofa and is seated there as a mark of distinction. Then arrive the captain and his wife. They are immediately the distinguished guests. The wife is shown to the sofa and the lieutenant's little Frau must get herself ...
— Mobilizing Woman-Power • Harriot Stanton Blatch

... was the fashionably-attired, immaculate young man, who had saved her from Rough Rorke last night. She stared at him in the faint light without a word. Her mind was racing in a mad turmoil of doubt, uncertainty, fear. Was he one of the gang, or not? Was she, in the role of Gypsy Nan, supposed to know him, or not? Did he know that the real Gypsy Nan, too, had but played a part, and, therefore, when she spoke must it be in the vernacular of the East Side—or not? And then sudden enlightenment, with its incident ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... seem an exaggeration to ascribe to the modern drama such an important role. But a study of the development of modern ideas in most countries will prove that the drama has succeeded in driving home great social truths, truths generally ignored when presented in other forms. No doubt there are exceptions, ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... her own slow mind that Peter was an objectionable person, that he neglected his wife, quarrelled with his best friends and refused to fulfil the career that he had promised to fulfil. She saw herself now in the role of protectress of her daughter, and that role she would play to the very end. Clare must, at all costs, be happy and, in spite of her odious ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole



Words linked to "Role" :   raison d'etre, enactment, stead, duty, portrayal, bit part, place, hat, lieu, name part, portfolio, hero, personation, second fiddle, position, villain, heroine, usefulness, nonfunctional, utility, characterization, ingenue, heavy, baddie, capacity, activity, functional



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