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The meaning of"cape-twirling", "chandelier-smashing","holy grail"? Thx! Describing "Phantom of the Opera" from the Economist Expresso: 1."The cape-twirling, chandelier-smashing musical is commemorating its anniversary with a charity gala performance on Monday. Q:When do you use "cape-twirling" and "chandelier-smashing"? Can you raise an example? Are they usual collocations? 2.Box-office revenues are higher than for any film or play, with an estimated gross of 6 billion. Its success speaks to the holy grail that is creating a blockbuster musical: one in ten shows makes money; two lose it all. Q:I don't really understand " Its success speaks to the holy grail that is creating a blockbuster musical". Why does the author use "speak to"? What is the meaning of "holy grail" under this context? Thank you!
Oct 16, 2016 7:05 AM
Answers · 4
"The Holy Grail" is a weird phrase from the old stories of King Arthur, written in the 12-14th centuries. It was a Christian relic which some of King Arthur's knights searched for. They went on a long journey, or quest, to find it. So today we use this phrase to mean something that is hard to find but is very precious. Some stage plays lose all the money invested in them. Most will only survive, but not make a profit. Very few will make huge profits like the Phantom. So, the huge profit is the Holy Grail. I don't know why they used "speak to". It's not really clear, and I wouldn't ever copy it. But think of another word that means almost the same thing: address. - the commander addressed his troops. "Address" can also mean "face up to" or "recognise", as in "we need to address the problem. If you think of your Holy Grail as being a "problem", something that people want but can't have, then you can see the meaning of the phrase. This huge profit creates a conversation around the problem of profitability. But now I would just forget about it. You don't need to ever use it. Edit: forgot to say that the Holy Grail, although it was added to the King Arthur stories quite late, and the stories are all pure fiction anyway, is the object of Indiana Jones' quest in the film "The Last Crusade."
October 16, 2016
They are descriptions of famous scenes in the play used to invoke images of it. Speaks to is an idiom basically meaning to address or bring up. The Holy Grail in this sense means something that many search for and want and that is hard or impossible to find. In this example it is talking about the fact the play has realized the goal of making a lot of money with a blockbuster when most others do not i.e. it has found the Holy Grail of the musical business.
October 16, 2016
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