Our Country’s Good

by

Timberlake Wertenbaker

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Ketch Freeman (James Freeman) Character Analysis

Another convict in the penal colony. Along with Handy Baker, Ketch is part of the group that steals from the colony’s food supply at the beginning of the play. Unlike the others, though, he avoids the death penalty by accepting a job as the colony’s hangman. This upsets him deeply, but since he was only going along with the plan to steal food, he thinks he doesn’t deserve to die. Still, though, he admits to Ralph that he’s worried God won’t forgive him for hanging his co-conspirators. Furthermore, his role as the hangman has made him wildly unpopular in the camp. Because of this, he pleads with Ralph to be cast in the play, hoping he’ll be able to redeem himself by joining the production. At first, the other actors only continue to resent him, refusing to act alongside him. By the end, though, they stop giving him a hard time.

Ketch Freeman (James Freeman) Quotes in Our Country’s Good

The Our Country’s Good quotes below are all either spoken by Ketch Freeman (James Freeman) or refer to Ketch Freeman (James Freeman). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
).
Act One, Scene Nine Quotes

When I say my prayers I have a terrible doubt. How can I be sure God is forgiving me? What if he will forgive me, but hasn’t forgiven me yet? That’s why I don’t want to die, Sir. That’s why I can’t die. Not until I am sure. Are you sure?

Related Symbols: Public Hangings
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
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Our Country’s Good PDF

Ketch Freeman (James Freeman) Character Timeline in Our Country’s Good

The timeline below shows where the character Ketch Freeman (James Freeman) appears in Our Country’s Good. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene Three
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...the convict’s age indicates no such thing. Next, Harry tells Phillip that a convict named James Freeman has also been sentenced to death. The final criminal, Harry says, is Handy Baker, a... (full context)
Act One, Scene Eight
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
As Liz and Dabby fight, Ketch Freeman enters and asks why they’re “at each other’s throats.” The two women stop fighting... (full context)
Act One, Scene Nine
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...and at midnight takes out his wife’s picture to kiss it, but he’s interrupted by Ketch, who apologizes for intruding. “When I say my prayers I have a terrible doubt,” Ketch... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Ketch upholds that—although he was involved in the murder of a worker who went against the... (full context)
Act One, Scene Eleven
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
...Officer, Ralph gathers the convicts he’s casted, including Sideway, Wisehammer, Mary, Liz, Dabby, Duckling, and Ketch. As Ralph tries to begin, the prisoners insult Ketch because he’s the hangman. Duckling protests... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Six
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Later, Harry summons Ketch to take Liz’s measurements in preparation for her hanging the next day. Apologetically, Ketch tries... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
After measuring Liz, Ketch apologizes again, telling her that if he doesn’t hang her, someone else will. At least,... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Seven
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...new.” Still, Dabby doesn’t hide that she’s unhappy with her role, eventually storming away as Ketch enters and begins to rehearse. However, Mary has a hard time doing a scene with... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Ten
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...but Harry is dead and was never able to relay her message in court. Although Ketch gave an account of what Liz said to Harry when she was getting measured for... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Eleven
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...pass him and Mary asks, “Are the savages coming to see the play as well?” Ketch explains that the Aboriginal Australians are dying of small pox. “I hope they won’t upset... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
...including Liz, who says she’d happily be part of Sideway’s company. “And so will I,” Ketch chimes in, and Sideway says, “I’ll hold auditions tomorrow.” In response, Dabby says, “Tomorrow,” and... (full context)
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
...be in it in the first place. “I’m nervous too, but I have overcome it,” Ketch says. “You have to be brave to be an actor.” Ralph then tells the drunken... (full context)