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Examine the ways in which the relationship between the public and the police is presented in Hare's "Murmuring Judges".

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Introduction

´╗┐Examine the ways in which the relationship between the public and the police is presented in this extract and elsewhere in the play. In Murmuring Judges, the second play in Hare?s trilogy which examines institutions, Hare presents the relationship between the police and the public as one of mutual dislike. Interestingly, Hare never openly shows the public to dislike the lawyers, who act as the antagonist throughout the play due to their uncaring attitude towards client, but it is omnipresent towards the police, who are shown to be more in touch with people. Here, Hare is perhaps consciously suggesting that the people dislike the police as they are the ?face of justice? and thus perceived by the public to be the ?enemy?. Although Hare does present the police to hold some racist and prejudiced views, showing they clearly aren?t perfect, he does largely present the police in both Murmuring Judges and his research book Asking Around as trying to do a hard job in difficult times. From our first introduction to the police, we see they are instantly disliked by the public. In Act 1 Scene 3, the first to involve the police, Keith states ?you?re all bloody bastards? which immediately creates sympathy from the audience for the police. ...read more.

Middle

However, Hare continues to present the police as ?the good guys?, as he shows Lester to be ?only interested in protecting the public?, which reinforces the idea that police frustration largely stems from the public. Despite the public perception of the police as ?tossers?, the police are wholly presented as the most in touch with people and the most realistic, ?what we?re talking about here is reality?. This is best shown in the juxtaposition of the lawyers and the police?s view of public interest. Whereas Sir Peter believes ?everyone listens to Desert Island Disks?, which the is obviously untrue, as this is a largely middle class radio station and shows the lawyers to be completely out of touch with the public, Lester states ?I?d rather be in bed with Michelle Pfeiffer.? This is a much more relatable statement for the public, as it is likely that there is a larger proportion of people who would rather be in bed with Michelle than there is who listen to Desert Island Disks. Through this direct contrast, Hare shows the lawyers to be dated whereas the police are presented as realistic, and with the same manner and feelings as the public, which can be exemplified by the ...read more.

Conclusion

Just as the public are shown to be aware of racism within the police, sexism is also obvious as Sandra says ?just ask the boys, all women are naggers?. However, I believe this may have been inherent and gone unnoticed by the police, as perfectly summed up in the line ?they don?t know they?re prejudiced?, as the play was written in 1991, when racism and sexism were seen as everyday occurrences. Hare describes the police as ?the people trying to keep their sense of humour in the face of massive contradictions?. This is evident in the relationship between the police and the public, as the police generally use a light tone and humorous phrases, which suggests the police would like to get along with the public, but they make this impossible. This is strengthened by Hare?s presentation of the public, as they are shown to be non-cooperative or ?grovelling?. In contrast, Hare occasionally presents the police as prejudiced and disinterested in their jobs, which undermines the police-public relationship, but it is largely obvious that Hare blames the public for the poor public relations as the police are largely just attempting to do their job in difficult circumstances, which is only worsened by the public perception of them as unjust and prejudiced. ...read more.

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