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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How are the characters and their relations established in Act one of Brian Friel's " Translations" Characters and their relations are effectivelly established in different ways by Brian Friel in his play " Translations". Friel uses the relations of characters to emphasise certain characteristics. By being subjected to the interpretation of a character through the opinions of other characters allows the reader to form a judgement of the character. Friel uses stage directions to build-up a character. Once the character is present on stage, if the character lives up to the characteristics mentioned in the stage directions the reader or audience can easily focus on these flaws or assets and therefore get a better understanding of the character. Manus is one of the first characters that is introduced in Act one. He is described to be in his late/early thirties, shabbily dressed aswell as, ' pale-faced, lightly built' This description shows Manus to be a weak and feeble figure and this physial description suits his character well as when reading Act one, one learns that he is a very lame character who is easily manipulated by his father. Manus' weakness is shown through his relations with three characters, his father Hugh, Maire and his brother Manus. Although Hugh is an extremely able man, Manus accepts being ordered out by his father as though he were his servent. An example of this is, almost immediately after Hugh makes his first appearance in " Translations", he requests for Manus to bring him tea and soda bread. Hugh shows no sign of gratification for Manus' duties and the tone in which he speaks to Manus is patronising. ...read more.

Middle

on his own admission- only English; and to his credit he seemed suitabley verecund ' From Hugh's description, one can understand that Lancey is a humble character that only speaks English and only speaks at all when it suits him. This makes Lancey out to be an arrogant character as he does not appriciate the language of the country that he is in nor does he come across as a friendly, warm character. Lancey's character is built-up further through stage directions. He is described to be a very organised, militaristic man who is excellent at his job but has weak communication skills with people, ' especially civilans, especially these foreign civilans. His skill is deeds, not words' Lancey is shown to believe that as he is English and in the army he has the right to look down on other people that are not to his rank. Therefore is he shown to be arrogant and not a people's person and when Lancey finally appears in the play he lives up to all these characteristics as he treats the Irish people as though they are stupid and insignificant. Lancey seems to represent the stereotypical Englishman that many Irish people resented and had good reasons for. Friel perhaps introduces Lancey so that the reader understands why the Irish resented the English so much and the Irish characters would therefore receive sympathy from the reader or audience. Friel however also introduces Lieutenant Yolland who has a contrasting character to Lancey. Yolland is not arrogant like Lancey and neither is he militaristic as he is described as, ' A soldier by accident ' It is important that Friel mentions that Yolland joined the army by accident as Yolland should not have any association with the harsh,strong image of the army. ...read more.

Conclusion

The importance of Friel making the reader aware of the different relations that a character has is essential in the understanding of the character. It can show them to be weak or strong and determines part of the character. Stage directions are also extremely valuable to forming a judgement of a character as their physical appearance and values that may not come across in dialogue are emphasised and therefore the reader has a greater understanding of the character. Friel ends act one with probably the most conclusive stage directions in the play. ' Manus watches Owen move confidently across the floor, taking Maire by the hand and introducing her to Yolland. Hugh is trying yo negotiate the steps. Jimmy is lost in a text. Doalty and Bridget are reliving their giggling Sarah is staring at Manus ' This end to the act sums up how each character should have been interpreted in Act one. Manus, wary of his brother and focusing on Maire shows him to be passive and reluctant to move on. Hugh is seen as drunk and unable to get to where he wants in life. Jimmy Jack is lost in his own world and in turn lost touch with reality and will get no where in life. Doalty and Bridget are having fun and adding light humour to the scene. Sarah is lusting after Manus, unable to confess her feelings for him and is stuck on a man that is lame thus rendering her a failure in life. Friel adds this last stage direction to ensure that the reader or audience have a complete understanding of the characters and their relations in his play " Translations". ...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. In what ways does Brian Friel establish the theme of language and communication in ...

    As he puts it himself his job is to "translate the quaint, archaic tongue you people persist in speaking into the King's good English (Act I, pg 30) he very obviously echoes the views of the stereotypical English colonist, since he moved away he has either become loyal to the

  2. Commentary on Act 1 of the book Translations by Brian Friel.

    Maire finally talks to Manus when he gives her a bowl of milk. Manus talks to her about Biddy Hanna, this speech that he makes is a representation of Irelands ignorance, they are not aware of political implications. He says what the letter had in it, what Biddy Hanna writes

  1. Re-read Dancing at Lughnasa from the end of Act 1, page 38 (the stage ...

    Pagan god, so the days and weeks to follow are celebrated in its name "Because in the old days August the first was La Lughnasa, the feast day of the pagan god Lugh".

  2. Discuss how Friel presents the characters and introduces the main themes in Scene 1 ...

    The Spanish agreeing to back the Irish with military support has been a long time in the coming, but nevertheless they are very grateful for it and can see themselves advancing forward and defeating the English once and for all.

  1. Compare the presentation of the colonial situation in 'A Passage to India' and 'Translations', ...

    A more striking example of this fact is the awkward conversation between Maire, Yolland and Owen, where little communication is made: "What is he saying. " / "What does he say?" Ironically however, without a translator Yolland and Maire make progress, and communicate through something deeper, and more powerful than language, for example "Maire holds out her hand."

  2. 'An English historian has claimed that Hugh O'Neill was "a great man as far ...

    For O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, with his vast extent of wealth, a present such as this would not have been overly costly and, proven in Mabel's reaction of disbelief and flattery, could have been an easy way to, once again, win his wife's heart.

  1. Translations - Character Study.

    which occur but despite this it is evident that the brothers share a mutual affection. "He punches Manus lightly, playfully." (P.37). Owen also has a strong relationship with his father. Hugh is proud his sons success and this is shown on Owen's arrival when Hugh feels a "joy" towards his sons warm return.

  2. Explore how Friel uses language in order to create humour and other emotional responses ...

    After Act 2 Scene 1, the couple are next seen together, after the dance, trying to talk to each other. This scene is a intensely emotional love scene between the couple and is also a exquisite examination of the barriers between language and communication.

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