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The Use of the Stage Directions in The Cherry Orchard and Blood Wedding.

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Stephanie Duarte The Use of the Stage Directions in The Cherry Orchard and Blood Wedding When a play is being read instead of being watched onstage, stage directions become essential to our understanding of the play as they allow us to picture what would be happening if the play were to be acted out. As there are many types of stage directions, I will only be analysing costumes, gestures, blocking and entrances and exits. These can be used to reveal character, symbolise the relationships between the characters, create a comic effect, or even heighten the tension and therefore change the mood. Blood Wedding is a highly dramatic play, making great use of symbolism, and the story line is heavily based on the strong feelings between the characters. The Cherry Orchard, on the other hand, is a play which incorporates both tragedy and comedy. Costumes are often described when introducing a character in The Cherry Orchard. At certain times in the play, their purpose is to give us an immediate idea of what a character is like or to create a comic effect. When Yepikhodov is first introduced, he is wearing "boots that squeak loudly", which creates comedy and also allows us to identify him as an accident-prone character. ...read more.


Lophakin then "picks up the keys". This creates dramatic tension and also symbolises the fact that Varya is no longer the owner of the house but that instead it now belongs to Lopakhin. Many of the exits and entrances are used to create humour in The Cherry Orchard, and in doing so relieve dramatic tension such as During the ball, when Varya has a fight with Yepikhodov and tells him to go "out of the room" and then thinking he is coming back, she "seizes the stick that Firs left by the door" and hits Lopakhin "on the head" instead. Exits can be used for the same effect. This is can be seen when Trofimov storms off after a heated discussion with Mme Ranyevskaya. The offstage sound of his "falling with a crash" down the staircase quickly lightens the mood as the style changes from serious drama to comedy. However, entrances and exits also Stephanie Duarte play a part in creating tension, changing the mood from being light to serious. There is an immediate heightening in tension, for example, when Gayev "comes in" during the ball "wiping his eyes". Even before he says anything we know the estate has been sold. ...read more.


Entrances, exits and blocking are also used together to heighten the tension in the play. At the ceremony, after the Bride and Leonardo have gone off-stage, people, including the servant, continuously "enter quickly" , cross the stage and run "off via the back stage" area again. They do this more than once, and therefore capture the audience's attention, whom can only guess that something has happened between Bride and Leonardo. This creates tension which eventually leads to the climax of the play. In conclusion, Chekhov stage direction to reflect the style of the play. They are used to create humour, reveal the main themes such as the abolition of serfdom , and to heighten tension. They play an important role in establishing the careful balance between serious drama and comedy. Lorca, on the other hand, uses stage directions mainly to reveal character and to symbolise themes found in the play, such as death. This allows us to have a better understanding of the plot. The different types of stage directions I have looked at serve different purposes. While costumes are useful in revealing character, gestures are mainly used to highlight particular emotions, and entrances, exits and blocking aid in the establishment of mood. By working in parallel to one another they allow us to have a greater insight and therefore appreciation of the plays. ...read more.

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