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Contextualising Metamorphosis

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Kimberley sauro Contextualising Metamorphosis Social, cultural & historical influences in writing, producing & interpretation The play metamorphosis was written by Frank Kafka but Steven Berkoff produced a theatre adaptation of Metamorphosis in the late 1960's. Kafka was born 1883, his childhood was most troubling and life hard, as he was a Jew growing up in German culture, also being ignored and alienated is why Kafka could relate to the character Gregor. Kafka had a hard relationship with his Father who would mistreat him and often tell Kafka he was a failure and a disappointment, which came through on to the character of Gregor's Father, another reason for Kafka to relate to Gregor. Both the way Kafka relates to the alienation of Gregor's character and the way the characters Father mistreats him, is seen to be based on Kafka's family experiences. ...read more.


Berkoff decided to rewrite Metamorphosis at that time he did because of a number of reasons. Social influence's of the 1960's affected Berkoff greatly. I n 1968 a act was passed meaning producers could put what they wanted on stage with no boundaries or age restrictions and also Brecht born 1898 had more influences than any other individual in the modern theatre using naturalism and expressionism changing German theatre, also with the rebel youth and the celebration (1 may 1965) of the revolution Berkoff could makes plays as surreal as he wants and to reflect society especially in Metamorphosis. In the 1960's the Labour party was in power meaning you didn't want to stick out in society and that work was regarded as very important, we can see this influence in the play a lot. As Gregor works non-stop and sees it as very important, he carries this work so seriously on his back that when he awakes, his worries has actually manifested into this big, hard backed beetle shell. ...read more.


The play shows cultural differences of the 1950's and the 1960's, the metamorphosis of Gregor's character's from working man to beetle and his sister Greta, emphasise the change of era. Just as the character Gregor's emotions, way of living and movements go from those of an everyday over worked business man to those of an insect or beetle, we see the family move from terror and sympathy to the ultimate betrayal whether it's by violence such as his Father throwing the apple which gets lodged in Gregor's hard backed shell or to more emotionally hurtful betrayal of Greta his loving sister, who at first was the only one prepared to help, clean and feed him. The play ends as Greta Metamorphosis into a woman while Gregor die's as the beetle but being set free. As you can see many Metamorphosis happened. ...read more.

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