• 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. Introduction to Narrative

    When his father's attempts to talk him round fail, he resorts to the power of God saying that 'God would not bless you'. His father having already lost two sons is desperate to keep his third son safe. 'Crusoe' is aware of his father's plight yet still sets sail.

  1. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    Astonishing I call it...(with burlesque ferocity) Ah-- now I'll astonish you--I am going to-- (with the air of seeking for a good joke and finding it)--Let you pray for me Tonight, at vespers!" *Not seeing Roxane's work ever again: "Now, may the devil admire me, if I ever hope to see the end of that embroidery."

  2. Christian perspectives on personal, social and world issues

    If people shared food instead of wasting it and eating more than they need to starvation would not be an issue. World hunger being caused by over population means that there is too many people in the world today so food is becoming more scarce and some people cannot get hold of much.

  1. 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.

  2. AS level coursework

    Also in the modern day miracle the shape of Jesus suffering for all of mankind on the cross can be seen to some as the sign that it was Jesus who performed this miracle. On the other hand in the miracle which Peter performed on Tabitha in Acts 9:26-43 the

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

    According to Plato12 in some way this could be called altruistic suicide which means suicide as an ideological or selfless act Today, both Judaism and Islam teach that human life is sacred, they do not accept euthanasia or suicide under any circumstances.

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

    The pagans probably did not care what name was given to their festival, as long as they could continue feasting and rejoicing. 3. What are the true origins of Halloween? The name Halloween is actually a Scottish shortening of the name ?All Hallows Evening? or ?All Hallows Eve?.

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