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

Commentary for "The May Poles and Their Queen".

Extracts from this document...


Sophie Anne Stott Commentary for "The May Poles and Their Queen". When reading the Greek myth Orpheus, I was immediately struck by the heroism of the central character. Orpheus is the classic male hero, overcoming all obstacles to bring back his beloved Eurydice, only to be eventually thwarted by something even more powerful than his heroism: his own love. Because of the essentially classical, romanticized nature of Orpheus, I felt it would be an ideal source text for a modern-day interpretation. In order to gain a better understanding of the text, I initially adopted, in Stuart Hall's terms, the 'preferred' reading; that is, how the audience are 'meant' to read a text, who they are expected to empathise with and what conclusions they are meant to draw. Applying Greimas's structuralist scheme, I found it easy to identify Orpheus as the 'subject' or, according to Propp's 'spheres of influence', the 'hero'. Orpheus can also be identified as Propp's 'donor' figure through his extraordinary skill at playing the lyre, which provides him with apparently limitless power when it comes to charming the gods of the underworld. The 'sender' would be Eurydice, for dying and subsequently 'sending' Orpheus on his quest to the underworld. ...read more.


By having Edie backstage, providing the real musical talent, she initially appears a relatively oppressed, marginalised character: always forced to stay in the background: "Yeah. Well, I ain't 'Christian', am I?" There is a sense that Edie has accepted the belief imposed upon her by Christian: that she is simply an accessory to his success. I gave her a distinct Northern accent in order to appear more 'down to earth' than her 'rock star' counterpart, and also to appeal more to the audience as the 'under-dog'. Throughout, Christian is portrayed as the archetypal, vain, male 'rock star'. I attempted to emphasize this vanity linguistically, through his self-obsessed use of language - "You've already got flowers. My flowers. Flowers handpicked by moi" - and also through his obsession with his eyebrows. I felt that by giving this conventionally 'effeminate' concern to both Christian and Al, I could further parody the 'strong' male stereotype associated with Greek myths. One of the key changes that I made to the original text was that in my drama, Edie runs away from Christian as opposed to "Aristaeus". She is also willingly 'bitten' by the snake. By having Edie willingly leave Christian for the 'underworld', this is in keeping with my overall 'feminist' angle of approach, as it now becomes Edie's 'quest' to find her role as a performer. ...read more.


One of the most dramatic changes I made to the original tale was that in my version, Edie chooses to stay in the 'underworld', and it is she, as opposed to Des/Hades, who sends Christian back to the 'upper world' with the dismissive remark "I'm an actress, Chris". By changing the original ending, Edie has found her real existence in the underworld, and to her, it is the upper world which is full of misery. Christian, however becomes a classic picture of male melancholy: "homeless and unable to even strum his guitar." He is an allusion to the current crisis in masculinity, a phenomenon often voiced in the media, his 'traditional role' as the performer taken over by his female counterpart: abandoned for "Keith Harris". Because of this, Christian feels his masculinity has been threatened. This is then made ironic by his final effeminate cry of "My tweezers!" In the final scene, I had Edie "smiling sadistically" as she plucks her eyebrows, indicative of her mocking of Christian, a reversal of the original patriarchal tale. For whereas in the original text, it is the 'hero' Orpheus who 'goes on his quest and fails', in my transformation it is the 'heroine' Edie, who not only sets off on her 'quest' but also succeeds and ultimately, it is she who 'comes out on top'. ...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 Christianity 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 Christianity essays

  1. The Ideas of Hell and Purgatory: A Wide Shift from Then to Now.

    In exchange for money was the promise that their loved one would be relieved of the pains of Purgatory and sent to heaven. "The prevailing doctrine of Purgatory at the time of the Reformation was related to some of the worst abuses in the Church, particularly the sale of indulgences,

  2. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    dearest'/ "--My own heart's own, My own treasure--"/ -- "My love"/ "I am never away from you. Even now, I shall not leave you. In another world, I shall be still that one who loves you, loves you beyond measure, beyond."

  1. What are the moral and religious differences, if any, between euthanasia and suicide? Why ...

    he had cared for his wife for 15 years, surely he deserved to find happiness else where. Also many people who have been told that death is inevitable for them have defied the expectations of medical experts, by living on much longer than they were expected to, or recovering, either partly or fully.

  2. AS level coursework

    The pastor was directed by God to pray for healing for her. It was tremendous, amazing, the Holy Spirit was so strong! After the meeting ended her Husband Henry went to get the car and as she walked to meet him, a voice said to Rowena "why are you using your stick".

  1. Christian perspectives on personal, social and world issues

    Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow' 'When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow' This proves that God does not want Christians to be greedy and shows

  2. Write a critical analysis of the extract (Christian and Hopeful’s escape from Doubting Castle) ...

    Bunyan's use of rhetorical questioning through Christian's speech have the effect of encouraging the reader to question themselves. They also challenge the institution of doubt. Throughout part one we see the use of dialogue to encourage or reassure the characters.

  1. Introduction to Narrative

    'Christian' must be aware that the devil can appear in any disguise, as man must be tempted from the right path. 'Christian' becomes aware that 'Worldly- Wiseman' when troubles arise at Mount Sinai, it is the Evangelist the Christian preacher who comes to his rescue and offers 'Christian' a safe

  2. Christianization throughout History. I wanted to find out the true origins of the ...

    This holiday was celebrated in honor of Sol Invictus (the invincible sun), The official Roman Sun God (whose day of rest was Sunday). Mithraism was also a common cult in the Roman Empire, and many celebrated the birth of Mithras on this date as well.

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