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

Comment on Sherriff's presentation of Stanhope in the first two acts of Journey's End.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Comment on Sherriff?s presentation of Stanhope in the first two acts of Journey?s End In the first two acts of ?Journey?s End?, Sherriff presents Stanhope as a character who is, although in many ways the model war-hero, plagued by the flaws of alcoholism and mental decay. Throughout the first two acts of the play Sherriff shows these to change the audience?s understanding of, and feelings toward, him as events unfold. The audience is first introduced to the character of Stanhope in the conversation that takes place between Osborne and Hardy at the beginning of Act 1, which also provides insights into the men?s situation. The two accounts of Stanhope we hear are vastly different; while Hardy sees him as a ?sort of freak?, telling stories about when he ?drank a whole bottle [of whisky] in one hour fourteen minutes? and ?knocked all the glasses off the table? after an argument, Osborne, established as his second-in-command, does not encourage Hardy?s gossip and clearly has great admiration for Stanhope, saying ?I love that fellow. I?d go to hell with him.? However, though the two characters have very different opinions of their commanding officer, Sherriff nonetheless provides the audience with some concrete facts about Stanhope?s character: most importantly, that he has been fighting in the war for ?three years?, having come ?straight from school when he was eighteen? to rise to a high rank, despite his age; that he is, as Hardy puts it, ?a hard drinker?; and that he has been badly affected by his time on ...read more.

Middle

He looks rotten.? This contrast is again made in the characters? very different reactions to Raleigh?s ?hero worship? of Stanhope?Osborne thinks it is ?quite natural?, whereas Stanhope sneers at it, seeing it as something for ?small boys at school? only. Stanhope does not see himself as a hero, suggesting that the worship will only go on ?as long as the hero?s a hero?, and implying he believes Raleigh will no longer admire him now he has seen how he has changed. He seems to see some of the cowardice he hates in himself, commenting that if he went out to fight ?without being doped with whisky?I?d go mad with fright.? It seems that Stanhope is ashamed of who he has become, and so refuses to go home, where Raleigh?s sister Madge is waiting for him?despite expecting that it ?may not be much longer now? before he is killed. Although he is ashamed of his drinking problem?which the audience witness first-hand in this scene, as he drinks through several glasses of whisky and becomes increasingly irrational in the process?he continues to do so because he believes he?d ?go mad if [he] didn?t break the strain?. However, Stanhope fears that Raleigh is going to betray him by writing to Madge and telling her that he ?reek[s] of whisky all day?. Towards the end of the scene Sherriff presents Stanhope in a negative light for the first time; he plans to abuse his power by reading Raleigh?s letters: ?Censorship! ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Stanhope somewhat redeems himself during the rest of the scene, showing his leadership qualities?presumably as a result of seeing that Hibbert would rather be shot then and there then go up to the fight again. We see again the extent to which he is affected by the war as he tells Hibbert ?I hate and loathe it all?. It seems that the reason Stanhope keeps on ?sticking it? is out of a sense of loyalty towards the members of his company, as he tells Hibbert ?Don?t you know it?s worth standing in with men like that?? It is clear that as well as because of his distaste for cowardice, the reason Stanhope has held on for so long is for his men; and though he must tell Osborne that he and Raleigh have to make the raid, the scene ends with him accompanying a terrified Hibbert up the steps, encouraging him ?come on, my lad.? Through Stanhope, Sherriff presents a character who is a real hero of war. Though Stanhope is undoubtedly flawed by alcoholism and mental decay, it is suggested throughout that the real hero is appreciates the horror of war yet does all he can for his fellow man; not the naive, eager Raleigh, or the oblivious Trotter. Yet in a play which is, overall, anti-war, even the hero cannot beat the odds; and, only two-thirds through the play, Sherriff has already made clear that, somehow, he will lose, as all those involved must. ...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 Other Play Writes 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 Other Play Writes essays

  1. Evoking the past is one of the most important strategies in the practice of ...

    The fact that Sonson is just like is father is also a representation that the past is present in the future, because even though Crew is deceased he lives on through his son. Stone an iron-monger, adopted multiple roles, he played the white man aboard the slave ship, the white

  2. Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to ...

    Dora's excessively religious upbringing and beliefs play a large part in Alan's life and religion, particularly as many of his rituals are influenced by Christianity (his flagellating, and the terms he uses to describe his religious paraphernalia e.g. "the Ark of the Manbit").

  1. John Osborne admits to there being commercials in the play Look Back in Anger. ...

    He also seems to like Cliff and this is perhaps, as Cliff says himself, "I'm common." Jimmy can then relate his rants and upsets to another so that he does not feel so alienated within society. Jimmy also displays a hatred for the built-in preferential treatment within the education system

  2. In the country, people are forced to confront their faults and lead a more ...

    Goldsmith uses references to places in London to suggest that Mrs Hardcastle is informed on ?every tete-a-tete?, only to later reveal that ironically Mrs Hardcastle only ?enjoy(s) London at second-hand?, through the ?Scandalous Magazine?, which comically illuminates the fact she has never actually visited London.

  1. Scene by scene analysis of "Equus"

    His mother was happy about it and showed him that horses play a role in the bible, too. The song they learned by rote was on one hand an alliance between Dora and Alan and on the other hand a contact to the bible.

  2. The Presentation of the Legal Establishment in "Murmuring Judges" by David Hare.

    It also shows that Irina ticks all the boxes of Political Correctness; as you don?t come across a black, female lawyer often, particularly not twenty-one years ago. In my opinion, it also shows just how well-educated the legal establishment are by the indirect comparision done between themselves and the police.

  1. How Does John Osborne use Humour at the Beginning of 'Look Back In Anger'?

    Also, Cliff takes the voice of a news reporter thus showing their boredom by trying to be humorous. Jimmy seems to be the main instigator to the humorous side of the beginning of ?Look Back In Anger? as he is the only one who starts and resumes each subject of their conversation.

  2. Through the selection of three characters in 'Journey's End' examine how Sherriff presents human ...

    'Journey's End' still works as a play now and has messages for a modern audience, which is a testament to Sherriff's skill. The three characters which best display the theme of human weakness in 'Journey's End' are Stanhope, Hibbert and the Colonel.

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