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20th Century Drama - The name of this play is Journey's End, written by R. C. Sherriff.

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Introduction

20th Century Drama Introduction The name of this play is Journey's End, written by R. C. Sherriff. The play was first preformed on a Sunday night in December 1928. By 1929 it was being shown at the Savoy Theatre where it ran for two years. Later I will be studying the characters of Stanhope and Osborne, and how they link in with the title "Journey's End", and I will also examine the idea of journeys. I will also study the impact the play had, why it was so successful and journeys of the minor characters, Hibbert, Raleigh and Trotter. Journeys The subtext of the play is about journeys, mental, physical and emotional. Each character in the play goes through their own journey, but each face it in a different way. The Impact of the Play At first, no theatre managers wanted to show Journey's End as they thought it wouldn't be interesting to the public and no-one would want to see a play without women in or want to be reminded about the war ten years after it had ended. But they were wrong, and the play was a success. Before Journey's End was written, most plays were about love affairs between upper-class people and were mostly for entertainment purposes, whereas Journey's End is about something real, something dramatic, without being over played. ...read more.

Middle

"HARDY: Well, no, I don't specially want to see him. He's so fussy about the trenches. I expect they are rather dirty. He'll talk for hours if he catches me." Stanhope gets drunk later on in the play, and starts to babble. "Gone has he? Y'know, I had a word to say to Master Hardy. He would go, the swine! Dirty trenches - everything dirty - I wanner tell him to keep his trenches clean." Osborne replies to this, telling Stanhope that they'll clean up tomorrow. "Dear old Uncle! Clean trenches up - with little dustpan and brush [he laughs] Make you little apron - with lace on it." Stanhope's relationship with Hibbert is strained, because Stanhope thinks that Hibbert is trying to get back home. This angers Stanhope, who has been in the trenches for three years. "Another little worm trying to wriggle home." The author never actually states whether Hibbert has neuralgia or not, and this leads us to think that maybe he was just afraid, and this leads us to believe that Hibbert is more courageous than if he did have neuralgia and was staying. The way Stanhope persuades Hibbert to stay is very clever. First, he takes away Hibbert's reason for going by saying that he also has neuralgia. ...read more.

Conclusion

He stands with his face towards the wall, his shoulders heaving as he fights for breath.] RALEIGH: I'm awfully sorry, Dennis. I - I didn't understand. [STANHOPE makes no reply.] STANHOPE: Go away, please - leave me alone. RALEIGH: Can't I - [STANHOPE turns wildly on RALEIGH] STANHOPE: Oh, get out! For God's sake, get out!" This exchange between Stanhope and Raleigh is one of the most dramatic parts of the play. This is where Raleigh begins to understand why Stanhope has reacted the way he has to Raleigh's presence. Stanhope's journey was made more difficult by the death of Osborne, and he blames Raleigh for this, because Osborne was waiting for Raleigh when he was killed. At the end of the play, after Raleigh has been brought down into the dugout after being wounded by some shrapnel, Stanhope realises how nasty he has been to Raleigh, and tries to make amends. He makes light of Raleigh's injury, and tells him he's getting sent back to England to recover. Stanhope tries to make Raleigh more comfortable by bringing him some water, blankets and candles when he complains that it's dark and cold. Stanhope is grief-stricken when Raleigh dies as his actions clearly show. [STANHOPE GENTLY TAKES HIS (RALEIGH'S) HAND. ... AND STARES LISTLESSLY...] This is almost the end of Stanhope's journey, and we have to assume that he dies in the German attack. Stanhope is a flawed hero. - 1 - R.G.S James Greenwood ...read more.

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