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

'Our response to Hugh is typical of the way that Friel never allows us to make simplistic assumptions: we are likely to be critical and admiring of him in equal measure.' Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Claire Gittoes 'Our response to Hugh is typical of the way that Friel never allows us to make simplistic assumptions: we are likely to be critical and admiring of him in equal measure.' Discuss. The character of Hugh is a complex one. He has many qualities, which, allow us to be critical of him, but he also has many admirable traits. Friel creates a very human character, which makes it very easy for us as an audience to identify with. However with the character of Hugh one feels that his admirable qualities are less identifiable making it also very easy for us as an audience to be critical. Hugh is explored through a number of different ways, with almost all of them providing us with a cause to be critical. He likes to interrogate his students. It exemplifies his authoritarian role as he tests his students. Its also a way of showing his vast knowledge of language and his fondness of showing off as seen by the way he greets his class. 'Vesperal salutations to you all'. This idea closely relates to the idea that Hugh lives completely in the past, he is very similar to Jimmy Jack in his attitude. ...read more.

Middle

Hugh treats his sons with the same lack of respect as his students. He does not appear to be a caring father in any respect. This is apparent by the way he treats Manus. 'He removes his hat and coat and hands them and his stick to Manus, as if to a footman.' He treats Manus as a slave and expects to be waited on 'hand and foot.' Also, he constantly demands things from Manus, 'a bowl of tea, strong tea, black- and a slice of soda bread." This apparent expectation to be treated as a superior figure and be waited on, is demonstrated by the way Hugh expects Owen to taken on Manus's position, as a servant, when Manus has gone. Not only that, but he also sees himself as an academic who is superior to everyone, not only his sons and students but also to the English. For example, the way he treats Yolland. He attempts to intimidate Yolland by tying him up in verse. 'Yes, it is a rich language, Lieutenant, full of the mythologies of fantasy and hope and self-deception- a syntax opulent with tomorrows.' Hugh is so wrapped up in his own world and opinions that he has a complete lack of encouragement for Manus. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yolland almost has more respect for Hugh than Owen does because Owen continues to be critical of him and Yolland repeats, 'But so astute,' almost placing Hugh on a pedestal. In addition, as an audience you have to respect his ability to cope with his situation, his wife has died and his sons are without a mother. It is easy to be critical of Hugh but you have to admire his ability to cope with the hard reality of the times he is living in even if that means trying to erase the past. After all he did live in an age of hand to mouth existence and he almost blocks out the reality of these hardships. His survival mechanism is a natural and human instinct. We cannot really blame him for wanting to live in an unrealistic world of Greek myth and Latin past. Neither can you chastise his drinking. His lifestyle and the stress of his situation is what drives him to drink and you cannot really fault him for that. All of these small but simple gestures that Friel incorporates into Hugh's character are what make us as an audience have admiration for him. Friel does not create a stereotypical character, but a 'fully-rounded' individual with human qualities, it is these qualities, which allow us as an audience to both admire and criticise his character. 1 ...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. Translations - Character Study.

    32). * Lancey wants gratitude and co-operation yet he shows the Irish disrespect. His threat of killing "every animal in Baile Beag" unless Yolland is not found within a day then evicting the nearest townlands if he is not found in two days shows that he does not care about the Irish welfare and is only interested in money.

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

    This shows that his love for Mabel was an inconsistent quality, one not found in his other treatments of women. The watch which O'Neill presents to Mabel - although a romantic and no-doubt costly gesture - could be viewed as an inexpensive present and nothing more.

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