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

How does Friel involve his audience in the conflict between coloniser and colonised in his play 'Translations'

Extracts from this document...


How does Friel involve his audience in the conflict between coloniser and colonised in his play 'Translations' The play 'translations' by Brian Friel is set in Ireland in 1833. During this time, the area was undergoing colonisation by the English and the play represents a microcosm of the events occurring all over the nation at the time. The consequence of this colonisation was inevitably that the Gaelic language native to Ireland was eventually lost and replaced by English. Friel develops a pre-disposed bias towards the colonised through the characterisation of both Hugh and Lancey and this creates an allegiance between the audience and the Hedge school natives. Hugh's humerous persona is in stark contrast to Lancey's dictatorial character. The fact that the audience knows the inevitable outcome of the situation adds weight to the empathy felt for the Irish because the audience knows that no matter what Irish natives do in an attempt to protect their identity, it will eventually be taken away from them. ...read more.


The stage direction "he leaves" is simple yet dramatic. He leaves the audience to contemplate his statement and this dramatic feature acts as discourse in the play. This is a key moment when we realise that Hugh has resigned himself to the fact that the Gaelic language is destined to be lost. The emphasis of the word fact, due to the three dot ellipses, shows that Hugh recognises that the colonisation is going ahead and that his people will be helpless against it. Lancey assumes the role of the coloniser and Friel characterises him to appear as a microcosm for the entire English army, due to his callous and unforgiving nature. At the beginning of the Dramatic crisis, Lancey enters the hedge school abruptly and is dismissive of Owen. "I understand there was a class. Where are the others?" This confident, dictatorial address is a definite contrast to his initial nervous, fragmented speech. This change in speech represents the change in the situation that Lancey finds himself in. ...read more.


The dictatorial persona taken on by Lancey further enforces the audience's sympathy for the Irish people. It is clear from Lancey's dismissive attitude that he has no time for the Irish language and that Hugh's prediction is beginning to prove accurate. The 'fact' that the English cannot be dispelled indicates that along with the new place names, a new language will also be enforced. Friel involves the audience in the struggle between coloniser and colonised by forcing them to choose which side they feel most empathetic with. It is clear that Friel has created the character of Lancey to be utterly repulsive and the audience responds to this by disliking him and his cause. On the other hand, Friel has created humerous, likeable characters in the Hedge school that the audience can relate to and this creates an understanding between the characters and the audience. Because the play is written in English, it is accessible by both the colonisers and the colonised and this will therefore evoke a reaction of some sort from every person who reads it. Andi Lapworth ...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. Commentary on Act 1 of the book Translations by Brian Friel.

    Manus talks to Maire about her leaving for definite. She says that she does not want to talk about it now, but then goes on about how Manus was talking to her about getting married without even having a good, steady job.

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

    light-hearted feel to the play, they also have a more serious purpose. Through the gossip and accounts that Bridget and Doalty tell or experience, the reader is told a lot of information of events outside the hedge school. An example of this is when Bridget tells the class of an incident involving the British army.

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

    an ageing man with growing regret, his rich and happy life no longer apart of him but now placed with a criminal identity. Wanted by both the Irish and English, both of O'Neill's identities have abandoned him. The end of Act 1 Scene 1 announces the death of both Mabel

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

    It is clear through the reactions of Adela and Mrs Moore that the colonial conflicts, and striving for unity that take place in the caves expose the barren emotions of the individual, creating a spiritual challenge, which is deeper than any colonial conflict.

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

    In my opinion this also draws them together. What follows from here between them bears a striking resemblance to the discourse between Manus and Sarah in the opening act. They start with their names 'George' (Yolland)

  2. 'Friel creates a dramatic world that, from the start, is full of conflict.' To ...

    There are no "flashing eyed Athene's " in his life yet we sense he truly believes there will be. Jimmy is clearly symbolic of the mindset time, trapped in romanticising the past and oblivious partly to the events of the present Conflict is also shown through Sarah, in the form of internal struggle.

  1. What do you find of significance in Friel's presentation of the world of the ...

    or reader to know that Owen had moved to Dublin as he uses Maire to get across the vital information. ' We heard stories that you own ten big shops in Dublin' It is significant that Friel mentions Dublin as the reader can then understand that by moving out of

  2. How does the opening sequence to Translations prepare the audience for what is to ...

    While Corbett argues that the comfortlessness of the schoolroom suggests that ?learning brings no physical consolation? to the students, it seems Jimmy?s enthusiasm for the classical language as well as Manus? dedication to teaching Sarah how to speak undermine this claim as it is evident that both characters take enjoyment

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