Summary and Explanation of If I were You (Quick Revision Notes)

If I were You by Douglas James

If I Were You is an interesting play that has mystery, suspense, surprise and humour. It is a story in which an intruder intends to kill Gerrard and impersonate him to escape the law but the tables are turned on him as he is trapped due to Gerrard‘s presence of mind. The play thus brings out that intelligence and presence of mind can help us come out of trickiest of situations.

Character Sketches from If I were You
Gerrard: Gerrard, the protagonist of 'If I Were You'. He is portrayed as a man of many virtues. He is endowed with a brilliant wit, a sharp mind, smart thinking, and a sense of humour. He writes, acts and provides props for plays. He is a refined and a cultured man, who keeps his cool even in the most difficult situations.

Intruder: He is a villainous scoundrel, a confirmed criminal who makes intriguing plans to dodge the police. He has evil intentions and crafty plans to achieve his aims, he does not hesitate from murdering innocent people for his selfish gains.

Summary for If I were You


'If I Were You' is a play by Douglas James, an interesting play that has mystery, suspense, surprise and humour. This play is a story of an intruder.


The play starts in the house of Gerrard, a playwright. He entered the house of a playwright. He, however, did not know that the owner of the house was a playwright. He only knew him as Gerrard. He had heard about him a few things. He knew that he was something of a mystery man. He lived in the wilds of Essex. Gerrard gave his orders on phone and never met the tradesmen.

Gerrard is a cultured playwright. He lives in a small cottage. He does meet many people. He is to go out soon, but before he does so, an intruder enters his cottage. He has a gun in his hand. He bumps accidentally against the table. Gerrard welcomes him with confidence. The intruder asks many questions to Gerrard. He answers his questions with wit, irony and humor.

The intruder wanted to murder him and live as Gerrard because he looked like him. Gerrard at once understood everything. He told the intruder that he was also a murderer. Therefore, the police were after him. Gerrard explained that unfortunately one of his men had been caught. He was expecting trouble that night. He then made the intruder understand that it was good for him if he went with him. He also told him that if it was a frame, he could shoot him in the car. The intruder agreed. But, when he was about to cross the door, Gerrard pushed him into the nearby cupboard. He then slammed it. Thereafter, he telephoned the police for his arrest. In this way, Gerrard saves his life by a clever trick.

Quick Revision Notes
  • The intruder entered the house of a playwright. He only knew him as Gerrard.
  • He had heard about him a few things
  • The intruder was a criminal.
  • He decided to kill Gerrard and live himself as Gerrard. So he broke into the cottage of Gerrard one day. 
  •  The intruder threatened Gerrard with his revolver. 
  • He asked him to answer his questions. Then he told him that he intended to kill him and then live in his house as Gerrard
  • He told the intruder that he was also a criminal and a murderer. In case, he killed gerrard he was sure to be hanged.
  • They would hang him if not as himself then as Gerrard.
  •  Gerrard asked him to hurry  and ran with him in his car to a safer place.
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