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

Examine how Shaffer's use of stagecraft contributes to the themes and ideas of The Royal Hunt of the Sun

Extracts from this document...


Examine how Shaffer?s use of stagecraft contributes to the themes and ideas of the play The title of the play ?The Royal Hunt of the Sun?, instantly suggests a story about a thrilling quest or an epic adventure. To create a piece of drama that is compatible to it?s title, Shaffer includes many elements in the play, which are involved with the many complex themes that are threaded into a play that consists of only two acts. Shaffer incorporates many stage effects that appeal to almost all of the audience?s senses, to create a memorable performance. Most of them are visual, like his choice of props, lighting and costume. Music also plays a big part of this production. Shaffer cleverly uses all of these elements and combines it with some of the main themes he wants to convey and translates on to the stage for the audience to enjoy, and question the meanings behind the story. One of the central themes portrayed consistently throughout the play is religion. In the first scene, the unusually close relationship between religion and violence is already conveyed through the first prop shown on the ?bare stage? ? ?four black crucifixes, sharpened to resemble swords?. The ?bare stage? allows the audience?s attention to be immediately drawn to the contradicting prop placed on the ?back wall?. ...read more.


It shows the scale of the immense slaughter that had just taken place, the destruction of the belief of the whole civilisation, and perhaps the intention of bleeding sun was to foreshadow the downfall of Atahuallpa. This whole action-packed scene emphasizes on the ruthlessness of the Spaniards, and the process of the Spaniards cruelly killing the unarmed Indians is highlighted by the dramatic sound effects and music and the symbolism of the ?rippling cloth of blood? that Shaffer puts in this scene. Another central theme that is Shaffer portrays is bravery. This is most evident in scene 8 ? ?The Mime of the Great Ascent?. The climb is to be mimed as a ?stumbling, tortuous climb into the clouds?. This is accompanied by an ?eerie, cold music made from the thin whine of huge saws?, which creates again, a perilous atmosphere, as the ?whine of huge saws? is a very unpleasant sound to listen to, which emphasizes bravery as the audience has to see a group of men hiking furiously and overcoming the ?ledges and giant chasms? in the treacherous circumstances. Shaffer also includes a description narrated by Old Martin, to further stress the poor conditions they had to undergo. ?Have you ever climbed a mountain in full armour?? ? is a rhetorical question asked by Old Martin, which invites the audience to empathize with the crew as Old Martin makes obvious that it was a hard experience for himself. ...read more.


This perhaps conveys that the Incas were more exotic with bright coloured clothing and that the Spaniards were more traditional in duller clothing. Shaffer also makes Atahuallpa dressed ?from head to foot in white?, however to present an image of ?utter simplicity? instead. In the stage direction provided, Shaffer writes, ?by contrast?, which shows his deliberate ideas to make Atahuallpa stand out as king. All the key themes and ideas are emphasized through various stagecraft techniques in the play. The clear difference between the two countries suggests that Spain is a far more advanced country, as people were able to travel, yet Peru in some sense still seemed to remain like a tribe. Shaffer conveyed that the Spaniards underestimated Peru in the beginning, but as the play progressed, the Spaniards realise that it was different to what they had expected it to be like. One of the examples in which this idea was through Atahuallpa and Pizarro?s growing friendship in the play. Some props were related to religious hypocrisy, and Shaffer?s intention was possibly to criticise the church at the time. Perhaps Shaffer also ultimately wanted the audience to take away the cruel reality of the extent people do for greed, this was shown from the ?Great Massacre? and the brave things the crew were willing to do to get to their destination to get gold, this was shown in the climb of the Andes. ...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. Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to ...

    than about Alan's pain. She is evasive when Dysart asks her about seeing Alan Dysart: Did you want to see Alan? Dora [uncomfortably]: No, no...Not just at the moment and later tries to blame Frank for her abnormal behaviour, insinuating that Frank isn't fond of her coming to see Alan

  2. Analyze Brecht as the man, the context of his life, his theatre technique of ...

    Brecht's works reflected ideas of freedom for an individual must be suppressed so that in the future, we would be able to achieve freedom. In theatre, he believed that man and society should be intellectually analyzed, which made him to develop epic theatre.

  1. Equus Performance Commentary. On paper, Peter Shaffers Equus is extraordinarily vivid piece of ...

    Created by Dexter, they were deemed "risky" by Shaffer as they projected a double image: the horses head, and the clearly seen actor's head underneath it. Shaffer was eventually convinced by Dexter, who argued that Shaffer's Equus was about a double image and then horse masks would simply be a physical manifestation of it.

  2. How does Pinter exploit the verbal and the visual in the Birthday Party

    The audience only finds out what happened between Lulu and Goldberg the next morning, although we are made aware that they are attracted to each other at the party when they embrace, by what they say. However, neither character says exactly what happened; we have to guess through hints that are made.

  1. Explore Shepards use of setting, lighting and sound effects in Fool for Love; how ...

    Shepard's play 'Fool for Love' also has major amounts of lighting involved. One of the major characters within the play always appears on stage with the use of a spotlight, which is constantly fading in and out.

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

    Hibbert, however, appears to be the opposite. He is "small and slightly built", suggesting that he is physically weak (and probably mentally as well), contrasting with the powerful, commanding presence of Stanhope in his "well cut" uniform. Hibbert's "little moustache" implies that with his failure to grow a "real" moustache, he is also a failure in life.

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

    however, soon retreats back into his persona as Raleigh?s commanding officer, rather than the boy he knew at school. The first time he turns to Raleigh, Stanhope tells him he?d ?better go on with [Trotter]?to learn.? Though it has already been implied that Stanhope uses alcohol as a method of

  2. Alice in Wonderland timeless themes. Lewis Carrol published Alice in Wonderland in 1865 ...

    In the book, Alice is a determined young girl. She is stubborn, and it takes a lot to wear down her willpower. It's a flattering piece for women, showing a young girl with strength of mind who can argue with older men rather than submitting. Alice is sometimes punished for her fast tongue, and her spoilt attitude, but ultimately

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