• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Throughout the first scene in the play "Glengarry Glen Ross", David Mamet is tremendous in portraying the shifting of power between the two characters - John Williamson and Shelly Levene.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Throughout the first scene power appears to shift between the two characters. Trace this shifting power relationship and comment closely on the way this is borne out in the characters language. Throughout the first scene in the play "Glengarry Glen Ross", David Mamet is tremendous in portraying the shifting of power between the two characters - John Williamson and Shelly Levene. There are many examples in the first scene which prove this and throughout this essay I will give examples and discuss how the power shifts from character to character. Before we know anything about who he is or what he wants, we can see that Shelly Levene is nervous and stammering and he is struggling to keep Williamson's attention. "John... John... John. Okay. John. John. Look:(Pause.)". Levene is supposed to be this first-rate salesman, yet what he is saying in the opening of the play demonstrates his loss of persuasive speech. Levene goes on talking to Williamson for about a minute, and throughout his speech he seems to pause an awful lot and changes what he is saying. ...read more.

Middle

It seems to me as if Williamson is just thinking he has not got the time for Levene rambling on at him and he seems almost indifferent. The classic father-son argument is resembled here, where the son just goes on and on and the father is just apathetic towards him. Although it may seem a very subtle point, I think it is paramount in demonstrating how Williamson is clearly the more powerful of the two, whether Levene is shouting and swearing or not. Another time when we see Levene go on and on while swearing and Williamson just answers calmly is a bit later in the scene. "Bullshit. John Bullshit. ... It isn't fucking Moss..." Williamson then says "Not lately it isn't", and Levene answers with a fairly childish answer, "Lately kiss my ass lately" This would probably show the audience how calm Williamson is, while Levene is almost panicking and just talking without thinking. Levene then goes on another one of his speeches and throughout it he swears a great deal and is not really respectful to Williamson and the audience may think that he is the more powerful, however he is only ...read more.

Conclusion

Do I want pity? I want sits." , and then three pages later we see Levene saying "I'm asking you. As a favor to me? (Pause.) John. (Long Pause.) John: my daughter..." So we can see here that he is actually contradicting himself. The long pause is very significant, as I think Levene realises that he is not getting anywhere with Williamson, so he tries changing his approach by going for the sympathy vote, which still does not work. Again, although this is a fairly subtle point, it shows how dominant and powerful Williamson is over Levene as he makes Levene go round in circles and start to contradict himself just by letting Levene go on and on. So, I think it is fairly easy to see that Williamson is the more powerful of the two and although the audience may think that power is shifting throughout the scene, I think if we look more closely we can see how subtle things indicate that Williamson is the more powerful. The clearest example is when they are talking and Levene asks, "Why?", and Williamson replies, "Because I say so." ?? ?? ?? ?? Tariq Attia L6CPS ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. The Balance of Power Between Hedda and Brack

    In Act Four, however, there is a major shift in power as Brack tells Hedda the truth about Loevborg's death. Hedda is talking, almost to herself, about Loevborg's death being beautiful. She would have her back to him, looking up in a daze; Brack would smile quickly to himself as

  2. Contextualising the play, 'Two'

    This is also how the audience at the time can relate to the play because of the fact that 'Thatcher's Britain' was affecting every aspect of social life in Britain including the pub life. The pub was a local community place as it still is now, however back in the

  1. Saving Private Ryan Essay on the first 25mins

    The different images are of various scenarios, where like Jackson they are praying to God in their time of need. Although the requirements of God are very different, this just shows that whatever situation that people are in, the natural instinct at the end of the day, is to call for a supernatural being, to come at their rescue.

  2. How do the different interpretations of Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles by ...

    This seems to the audience the easy and tranquil way round to get to know what he wants.

  1. Drama coursework: Slavetrade - Development ...

    previous line etc whereas we had to carry on and forget about it as we were performing. The only downside to my narration was that in order to get the tone and emotion right I had to sacrifice the loudness of my piece and so the audience would have struggle

  2. The stimulus we were given to look at was the play 'Too Much Punch ...

    Our group worked well together on this task, we all input our own ideas which lead to a good finished piece of drama. I think we had too many people in our group and we would have worked better if there was a more compact group so everyone can listen to each others ideas.

  1. SCHEDULING: WHERE POWER LIES IN TELEVISON

    Because of this fierce competition between channels there are too many programmes of the same and television becomes too predictable for the audience, which leads to them being less gratified. The article states ' scheduling attempts to 'deal with' all aspects of competition while not knowing what most will be'.

  2. Whattechniques has Shakespeare employed in the first scene of

    One of the most obvious and clear examples, is the use and constant repetition of the word night, and reference to the time in the dialogue: "Tis now struck twelve, get thee to the Fransisco" "Well, good night." "Give you good night."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work