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

Discuss how Friel presents the characters and introduces the main themes in Scene 1 of Making History.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss how Friel presents the characters and introduces the main themes in Scene 1 of Making History. The play starts with Harry Hoveden telling Hugh O'Neill about a christening party he has been invited to. This introduces the play as "being born", and is now about to begin. This naming ceremony also links in with O'Neill and Harry's conversation about the name of the flower that O'Neill is filling the room with. This discussion of 'Spanish broom' is a foreshadow of a discussion O'Neill has with Lombard about the Spanish influencing Ireland. Hugh O'Neill is characterised as being a very indecisive person: he uses interrogative sentences ('isn't it?', 'doesn't it?'), and can't even decide if he likes his jacket or not. Also, he flits between 'upper-class English accent' and 'Tyrone accent'. This indecisiveness hints at O'Neill's inability to choose allegiance to just one side and to stay loyal to it, which becomes very important in the play later on. In Scene 2, he admits that he is 'loyal today - disloyal tomorrow', and blames it on the capriciousness of the Gaels. This shows that he is using both his Gaelic ancestry and his English nobility to his advantage - manipulating his "dual nationality" to appear loyal to one side, so he can more easily deceive whoever he needs to deceive at the time. ...read more.

Middle

This theory is soon proves to be true. He is also described as 'impulsive and enthusiastic' which reiterates his possibly immature behaviour. He greets O'Neill with a very friendly, laid-back attitude. He hugs him and mocks O'Neill about his jacket: not maliciously, though, in a friendly manner. He speaks his mind, and does not have the political or social awareness that other characters have. He has no problem with being very rude to O'Neill about his new wife, telling him to 'keep her for a month and then kick her out'. Lombard's reaction to the news of O'Neill's new wife is much more reserved, saying that he must 'assess the religious and political implications of this association'. This angers O'Neill as he sees it as a marriage of love rather than of personal or political gain. His reserved comments and replies are typical of Lombard: he greets O'Neill with 'How are you, Hugh?', which is very polite and formal compared to O'Donnell's greeting. He is writing a history of O'Neill, something which O'Neill is very apprehensive of. O'Neill believes that Lombard is not the ideal person to write an account of his life, so Lombard is very careful with what he says to Hugh about his plans. ...read more.

Conclusion

This opening scene sets the audience up for the rest of the play in terms of the characters introduced, the themes explored and the message that is trying to be portrayed. It gives the audience information that is not needed immediately, but will be needed later on in the play to link it all together. This also happens for parts of the first scene too. For example, O'Neill makes a passing remark, asking Harry if he's sure 'nobody has heard a whisper'. The audience is not aware of what they are talking about until O'Neill tells O'Donnell and Lombard that he eloped the night before. This links the two events together to complete the picture and gives the audience full understanding of what was going on. This is also what is happening on a wider scale across the whole of the first scene - events not understood at the time, but clarified later on in the next three scenes. The opening scene is the key to a clear picture of the whole events of the play, and even the most minute details of this first scene - relating to characters, themes or historical events - are significant in the overall structure and understanding of the entire play. ...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 Brian Friel 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 Brian Friel essays

  1. How does Friel explore the concept of identity in Making History, looking at alternative ...

    O'Neill, although the leader in him is still yet to show, throughout Act 1 he is shown as distracted and uninterested in his role as Earl and the jobs that he must fulfil, this indicates to the audience that he will most likely fail as a leader as he is more interested in his personal affairs.

  2. How does Friel present the duality at the heart of the character O(TM)Neill in ...

    This paragraph emphasis the state of unrest in Ireland and the connections that Harry suggests that need to be made in England, enforces the idea that Ireland need to be united before any other external enemy tries to make any more of an impact on Ireland in order to resist them.

  1. How does the introduction of themes and ideas in the exploration of Making History(TM) ...

    Karl Marx wrote that history follows a 'dialectal' process. In any given socio-political situation there will be conflict of two 'opposed' forces; the thesis and the antithesis.

  2. The End(s) of the Canon Minor Writing and Writing of Minorities

    If the minor, the marginal, contains the same elements in different configeration as the major, a rupture in the strict canonical separation appears. Kafka derived his ideas on literature from looking at the Jewish literature of Warsaw and Prague. For him, literature functions as a support for a nation.

  1. 'Translations' is essentially a play about change, consider the ways in which Friel introduces ...

    When Captain Lancey talks about new maps, place names, those on both sides the language gap can comprehend nothing without the help of a local boy (Owen). Lieutenant Yolland, is entered with the romance of the land he has come to alter with language and law, "Very kind of you, - thank you...

  2. 'Our response to Hugh is typical of the way that Friel never allows us ...

    Also he treats this conversation like many of the others, he almost tries to erase reality by pretending that Maire is not there, ' Doe she mean that Kerry politician?' this also serves as a means to undermine and manipulate Maire.

  1. How are the characters and their relations established in Act one of Brian Friel's ...

    and Friel does this to show that not all Englishmen were like Lancey. He may also do this as the effective comparison shows Yolland to be caring and considerate and therefore liked by the reader so they feel a connection with Yolland and any events that happen further on in the play to Yolland with have a greater impact.

  2. Turn to Act two, scene two and remind yourself of the whole scene. This ...

    Yolland speaks soon after in English saying "I could scarcely keep up with you". This seems as though they fully understand each other and are having a conversation, however they do not and even so, a feeling is conveyed that there is an inspirational form of communication between them reflected in their reserved physicality.

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