This play was written by a young man who became Pope. More particularly, it is a piece of "underground" literature written by this man of God for the Rhapsodic Theatre during the Nazi occupation.
The story follows the lives of three couples and one man. The one man, Adam, is the connection between the three couples. The first couple is a young couple who is looking forward to an unknown future. They see the shadows of this future reflected in the jeweler's shop window.
The second is a couple who are in the middle years of their marriage. The wife is miserably unhappy. She takes her wedding ring to the jeweler to sell it back, but he refuses. These rings have no worth except that they be joined together. Marriage vows are not so easily broken.
"Your husband must still be alive - in which case neither of your rings, taken separately, will weigh anything - only both together will register. My jeweler's scales have this particularity that they weigh not the metal but man's entire fate." Ashamed, she takes the ring back.
Adam takes her on a journey in the street so that she might await the bridegroom. This woman, one of the sleeping foolish virgins in the parable, finds the bridegroom in the street. The bridegroom's face is that of her husband, Stefan. Christ has the face of her unwanted husband.
The youthful couple and the unhappy couple have children. Two of these children once again set out to begin the cycle of marriage and renewal, each a product of his or her own parents' struggles in marriage.
This play does not contain dialogue between characters. It is a series of reflections, of thoughts in monologue, that reveal the characters' intentions and desires.
I enjoyed it very much. The Jeweler's Shop is a wonderful statement about the sanctity of the marital covenant.
The Jeweler's Shop was originally written as a play for the underground Rhapsodic Theater, and the limitations of the medium made the finished product very stylized. Yet the play is incredibly easy to read and difficult to put down. This brilliant drama is an indispensible meditation on the mystery of marriage. The film did not do it justice.