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AS and A Level: Other Play Writes

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
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    Re-read Act 2 Scene 6 of Murmuring Judges. Discuss Hares presentation of the position of women in the police force and the legal profession in this extract and the play as a whole.

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    Also, no other characters enter the scene as it progresses, so the conversation between Sandra and Irina, and the issues appertaining secrecy and injustice which it raises, are more well-received by the audience, who focus their attention totally on the speech and aesthetic expressions of the two women, and their meanings. For instance, towards the end of the scene, there grows "a real warmth suddenly between the two women," building upon the aforementioned smile share between them, emphasising their rapport and so the matriarchal nature of their culture.

    • Word count: 1082
  2. Troy Maxson, the main character in August Wilsons critically acclaimed play Fences, talks about his father who was never there for him when he was a kid. Born in the southern United States, where African- Americans were racially discriminated during th

    He says: My mama couldn't stand him. Couldn't stand that evilness. She ran off when I was eight. She sneaked off one night after he had gone to sleep. Told me she was coming back for me. I ain't never seen her no more. All his women run off and left him. He wasn't good for nobody. (1.4.109) His father was not good enough for everybody and whoever was with him they would only last for few days and after that they left because Troy thinks Maxson Sr.

    • Word count: 1537
  3. Equus Performance Commentary. On paper, Peter Shaffers Equus is extraordinarily vivid piece of literature. Onstage, it is a visually engaging masterpiece

    If one allows their imagination to roam as it will (and definitely as Shaffer wished it to be) the audience will form a rather imposing backdrop, hundreds of eyes that look down upon the tormented actors and silently, quietly, judge. Eyes are an important recurring motif in Equus: those of Equus, Alan's jealous God, that perpetually watch Alan are emulated by the horse-actors and the audience that view the stage from above and the sides. Not only is the judging audience meant to be a sort of stand-in for God, but they also represent the masses; the forever judging, cruel, intransigent and sentient being that is society. The stage that the audience looks down is sparse, and movable.

    • Word count: 1314
  4. Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to seem like normal, average people and good parents, his portrayal of Dora leads the audience to believe the contrary. She is one of the least likable characters in Equus and t

    with a nervously administered excuse: "I've been shopping in the neighbourhood. I thought I might just look in" (although it is apparent that it is the other way around: Dora's main goal was to meet Dysart, shopping simply an excuse, even though she "wears an overcoat, and is nervously carrying a shopping bag" to help reinforce the idea that she was shopping). This same pattern manifests itself in scene seven, where Dora "nervously" greets Dysart, and physically demonstrates her discomfort by "hold[ing] her hands tightly together". As Frank describes Dora's religious tendencies and how she "indulged" Alan (he effectively blames her for Alan's crime), Dora's burdensome guilt is plainly shown to the audience; she "wrings her hands in anguish".

    • Word count: 1930
  5. Pygmalion. The identity of Eliza how does it change and is it for the better?

    The first time we meet Eliza is when she is trying to sell flowers to people who are running for shelter from the rain into the porch of St. Paul's church. It becomes apparent that Liza is a low-common flower girl with her gutter speech. There is a note taker who is taking down what the flower girl is saying, which then leads her to think he is a police officer. At this time the flower girl is the only person who doesn't have a name.

    • Word count: 1304
  6. John Osborne admits to there being commercials in the play Look Back in Anger. What are the moral, social and political implications of the play?

    The main symbolism for this theme is the array of newspapers which Jimmy reads, even though they are directed at another class. This arguably shows that he does not feel he can fit in with society, as he is well-educated but situated within a lower class. Another is the iron; which has the capability of destruction and symbolises the frustration and potential danger of the educated, yet unemployed, a key example being Jimmy himself. Jimmy tends to attack those from a higher class due to jealousy or hatred as he regards his own relatives as "pretty posh" and opposes them

    • Word count: 1525
  7. How are feelings about love revealed in Mrs Dalloway

    'Mrs Dalloway' is focused on one day in June, and is an example of stream of consciousness storytelling: every scene tracks the momentary thoughts of a particular character. Woolf uses omniscient description and interior monologue for different characters but in this extract we see the viewpoint of Richard Dalloway and his concern for the love of his wife. The form and structure in which the extract is written is very much hand in hand with the stream of consciousness style it takes. We see very long sentences with many semi colons to break down the clauses as Mr. Dalloway thinks.

    • Word count: 1038
  8. Pygmalion - the significance of accents and the characters of Eliza and Henry.

    Accents are used to judge people due to the connotations they hold, a British accent is seen as cultured and their words are enunciated showing class while a southern drawl uses much slang and words are not clipped precisely. Through identifying the roots we make judgements or we place the person in a category which we see fit. Words or dialect are often also used to determine the class of an individual. Sticking to the prior example of a Southern drawl, they are often known to use the words "y'all" and "Ain't" which many consider a sign of low intelligence.

    • Word count: 1567
  9. Free essay

    Brave New World

    On one hand John is interested to find out the world where his roots come from. However what he sees he doesn't understand because it is not how he imagined it would be. On the other hand the heroine of "Heroes and Villains", Marianne, adapts to new primitive society quite well however her compressed emotions would not show her actual joy and delight to someone less intellectual. This gives her privilege in a barbarian society. This difference between the characters is important because it shows how individuals can change the environment around them regardless of their position and status in society.

    • Word count: 1290
  10. Discuss Pinters dramatic presentation of Ruth in The Homecoming

    Teddy and Ruth's arrival from America is symbolically representative of Teddy's homecoming after nine years away. He returns married with a 'Doctorship of Philosophy' and supposedly father of three sons, although later questioned by Max, 'all yours, Ted?', suggesting Ruth is, as ever, unfaithful and a prostitute. 'Are you tired?' this passage opens with the estranged couple struggling to find coherence with the blatant discord, 'No'. Ruth's replies are cold, quasi-monosyllabic and detached, perhaps in an attempt to undermine Teddy's ascension to authority as he blatantly refuses to listen and orders her around: 'Go to bed.

    • Word count: 1200
  11. Mabel In Making History Contradicts Prevailing Attitudes Towards Women Shown In Top Girls

    has a mother, sister and child not so far away, and is surprised to find out that Joyce sees her mother every week. When she is in the city and doing her job, she blocks them out completely. This is opposite to the way Mabel feels about Henry and Mary, her siblings. She feels that she should go back and misses them, but she stays firmly put with Hugh because she knows what she wants, and what is best for her.

    • Word count: 1583
  12. Futility of existence in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

    Stoppard highlights human existence as meaningless through this play, as Existentialist theories show that humans don't have a certain 'objective' to fulfil. Stoppard highlights the futility of human existence through the themes and the language. Ros and Guil are shown to have a lack of identity, as they have no narrative history, "Do you remember the first thing that happened today?" Ros and Guil spend most of the play lost and confused about where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. This links into the incomprehensibility of the world as they do not understand anything around them.

    • Word count: 1916
  13. David Hare's criticism of the Legal System in Scene 1 Acts 1 - 4

    We don't see Gerard again until Act 1 scene 4 where he is in the 'gaol'. We once again are made to feel sympathy for him due to him not knowing about the prison system and he does not know what to do. 'Beckett: Don't you know the procedures? Haven't you been in prison before? Gerard: No.'. This again makes the reader or audience feel sorry for Gerard due to him not being in prison before and the prison guards expecting him to be a re-offender.

    • Word count: 1232
  14. How does the opening of Alan Bennetts The History Boys introduce the audience to the themes and concerns of the play?

    The association of education within politics reflects Irwin's meretricious way of teaching. He is represented in the scene to be spin doctor for a group of MPs in the 2000s, where his job is associated with using facts and arguments that would satisfy the public, rather than display an entirely truthful aspect of government. By saying 'Paradox works well and mists up the windows' Irwin is conveying that he believes that using paradox to deceive people 'works well' reinstating his position as the anti-hero; having concerns that do not consider other people involved.

    • Word count: 1235
  15. Explore the ways R.C. Sherriff presents the attitudes of key characters in 'Journey's End'. Compare and contrast your findings with the ways the attitudes of key characters are presented by Peter Whelan in 'The Accrington Pals'

    However, on the front, when circumstances force the two men together outside of a school environment, a number of class-related problems and insecurities begin to show. Stanhope instantly feels that, because of the drinking problem that he's developed after many months of nerve-grating war, he might not be the reliable, respectable character that Raleigh used to look up to; he admits to Osbourne, "If I went up those steps into the front line - without being doped with whiskey - I'd go mad with fright".

    • Word count: 1734
  16. Explore Sheriff's presentation of the theme of the effects of war on soldiers' emotions in 'Journey's End'?

    It is only retrospectively, through the character of Raleigh, that the audience begins to understand that he wasn't always like this. Raleigh reveals him as "old Dennis", someone to admire even if it is simply because he was a "jolly good bat", his view is emphasized by the stage direction "(suddenly brightens up)" which shows that Raleigh clearly hero-worships Stanhope, the word "brightens" connotes the idea of hope and faith, which Raleigh undoubtedly has in Stanhope. Sherriff employs many dramatic devices in order to reinforce the two sides to Stanhope, the alcoholic, quick-tempered side being due to war.

    • Word count: 1100
  17. Do you agree that Yeats creates a scene of tragic intensity in Purgatory, or is the play too short and the characters too thinly evinced for this to be the case?

    This intimate setting forces closeness between the characters and audience: though it finishes with the Old Man abandoning the scene leaving it desolate. The complexity of Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are more precise actions and plot in Purgatory, making it easier to understand, and allowing the seemingly simple plot to have all attention on it, resulting in a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere. In Purgatory there are only two characters for the audience to focus on, which provides enough space and time in his play to create characters that are evinced clearly enough to serve their purpose as model examples of an old and a young boy, which provides the plot with a deeper impact.

    • Word count: 1288
  18. What do we learn about everyday life in the trenches in Act 1 in Journeys End?

    From what we are told, life in the trenches was at the very least dim, dull and disgusting. There was the fear of biting rats, the constant soaking of feet on the muddy floors and then the thought of dying whilst on duty. The soldiers try and make the trenches as homely as possible, by having "a few tattered magazine pictures pinned to the wall of girls in flimsy costumes." When not on duty, soldiers would try and make the most out of their boring, life in the dark dugouts. When it came to food, it was not the best of quality because of the fact that they were in a war and so they had to make

    • Word count: 1211
  19. Assess the relevance of Pages 58 - 63 in the History Boys to the rest of the play

    It seems that although older and now in a wheelchair his basic attitude and approach have changed little. He is now a 'personality' presenting a programme upon Rievaulx Abbey and life in monastic orders which he brings down to the level of 'toilet arrangements' stating that he believes this to be the way to bring history to life and the Director reflects upon how he sounds a 'tad schoolmasterly'. Irwin, for all his changed position, having been transported from a life in the classroom to in front of a television camera, is still focussed upon viewing things from an unusual perspective and using language to effect as when he reflects upon the different materials being used in place

    • Word count: 1019
  20. Shaffer portrays Salieris response to Mozart and his music in a way that helps the audience understand and sympathize with his state of mind. Discuss this statement through a detail exploration of Shaffers use of authorial techniques at th

    Piercing me through till breath could hold it........the squeeze box groaned louder" brings the attention to pain Salieri is trying to cope with whilst at the hands of this merciless adversary Mozart. The word piercing brings to mind an idea of stabbing, murder, death which heavily influences a sense of concern for Salieri as he is having his hopes destroyed. However, the conflict runs deeper than that, he knows the music itself is beautiful, and he also knows he can understand it better than anyone can, possibly even greater than Mozart himself.

    • Word count: 1104
  21. Analyze Brecht as the man, the context of his life, his theatre technique of alienation, his theory of historification and his use of episodic theatre.

    During which he left his medical studies in 1921. Brecht wrote his first play in 1918, called BAAL. Eventually Brecht's ideas of Drama that contradicted the Stanislavsky method in realism became a huge influence in the mid-century. The idea of communism interested Brecht and in 1919 he started to associate with Communists. As a result he joined the Independent Social Democratic party. In 1927 Brecht studied under Karl Marx's Das Kapital and by 1929 he had taken on the Communist ideology.

    • Word count: 1260
  22. The History Boys Essay

    Irwin is obviously younger and even more attractive than Hector which could make things even more complicated for Hector. Hector is clearly gay and gropes his students, but what the students do not know is that Irwin too is gay. Hector obviously has realised that the students don't really mind him groping them as they are not objecting in any way. He could be scared that Irwin would do the same as he does and therefore because of his attractiveness the boys would like Irwin more than they like Hector.

    • Word count: 1167
  23. Human nature was fundamentally irrational to the point of insanity. how is this exemplified in Captain Corelli's Mandolni?

    The first encounter of madness within the novel comes in the form of a battered and bruised Francesco. Through the early phases of introducing Francesco, de Bernieres presents the character as a courageous young Italian soldier, Carlo's dearest friend and loyal in serving for his country during the Second World War. The audience is quick to accept Francesco as a good person through the diary entries of Carlo; however it becomes apparent that the destructive and brutal nature of war combined with the harsh climate leads Francesco into losing a grip on reality.

    • Word count: 1106
  24. Glengaryy Glen Ross - Act 1, Scene 2

    These opening lines to the scene give a clear indication to the personalities of the characters. Aaronow appears to not be able to hold the conversation, and is clearly the more anxious of the two, and Moss, although his language also appears disjointed, it is less so than the language of Aaronow, and we begin to see immediately the relationship between the two characters. These opening lines also introduce the realistic theme of racism into the play. The use of the words "Polacks" and "deadbeats" reflects the feelings of the time towards foreign races in America, and this is continued moments later in the scene, when they begin to talk about Indian clients: Aaronow I'd never try to sell an Indian Moss You get those names come up, you ever get 'em, 'Patel'?

    • Word count: 1337
  25. "Lady Windermere's Fan is a moral play about immoral people". Explore Wilde's presentation of attitudes in Act One.

    The first conversation is between Lady Windermere and Lord Darlington. We can already start to see how people in the same social milieux have different moral codes. Lady Windermere's moral code is that of a puritanical absolutist; "she allowed of no compromise. I allow of none". Her puritanical ideals are "Its ideal is love. Its purification is sacrifice" and this will lead to goodness. This is ironic as it is in fact Mrs. Erlynne who lives by these ideals but is not given a chance to explain herself.

    • Word count: 1389

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • With detailed reference to at least three of the monologues, discuss how the narrators may be considered 'artless' in Alan Bennett's terms.

    "In conclusion, all, but one, of Alan Bennett's monologues are considered to star artless narrators. Although some of the monologues are less artless than other, for example, Graham in 'A Chip in the Sugar' is far more artless than Susan in 'Bed Among the Lentils' but both are considered to have artless qualities."

  • Explore the ways R.C. Sherriff presents the attitudes of key characters in 'Journey's End'. Compare and contrast your findings with the ways the attitudes of key characters are presented by Peter Whelan in 'The Accrington Pals'

    "In conclusion, the attitudes of characters in Journey's End and The Accrington Pals are largely similar. However, because of the massively different situations that the plays' characters are confined to, they're forced to think differently about certain aspects of things. Journey's End's characters try their hardest to be completely devoid of emotion, because they have to be, whilst The Accrington Pals's predominantly female characters are much quicker to allow their own feelings to get dragged into things. These two mindsets, that of the numbed soldier and that of the emotionally charged female townie, inevitably have an effect on the characters' attitudes. However, amongst the men of the two plays, even though there's definitely a natural divide between the attitudes of the upper class and the lower class, as we have seen through our comparisons between the two plays, it's clear that, as officers become more experienced in war, their attitudes begin to become increasingly similar to those of their men - Raleigh even chooses to sleep and eat with his men rather than be with his fellow officers at one point, which shows how war can change one's initial attitude to class; it unites people of different backgrounds and beliefs in order to combat what most believed was a common enemy."

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