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How do the writer and director of talking heads invoke both humour and pathos?

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Complete first draft of your post-1914 Drama coursework essay. "How do the writer and director of "talking heads" invoke both humour and pathos? Talking heads is a transcript of six monologues. They were originally written to be performed as a series on television. Each one suited the actor and this allowed for humour and pathos to shine throughout. The language that the characters use is appropriate for their social background and this allows for the humour and pathos to be combined. The way in which the writer orders the words allows for a rhythmic flow of words. This makes it much easier and better to listen to. The humorous way that the characters get themselves into situations, such as Lesley in Her big chance is being serious although the audience is seeing that she is getting herself into something that she doesn't expect. Also in 'a cream cracker under the settee' the old lady, Doris we see that she is in a desperate situation, but she doesn't want help from society, which makes the audience smile sympathetically. If we look at the monologue Her big chance in greater depth we can see how the humour and pathos are invoked by the writer and director. In the monologue we meet Lesley who is women who feel that she is a good actress, and believes she is the next best thing. ...read more.


She quotes "acting is really just giving", which we know that she does not offer much at all, but unofficially she 'gives' herself to men. It is obvious to us that she is being used and this combines humour and pathos in this monologue. In A cream cracker under the settee we have Doris who is a severely independent woman, and in the monologue she falls whilst dusting and badly injures herself. She desperately tries to attract help. However, strangely at the end of the episode, she dismisses a policeman who asks if she is need of help, which shows her independence and disrespect towards today's society, and ultimately that she doesn't want to be seen as someone who cannot care for herself. Doris is not likeable because of her insensitive attitude and her obsessive ways. Pathos is created when the audience sympathises towards the death of her husband and how she still talks to him. And it hints that she had a still-born child when it says: "wrapped in paper, as if it were dirty", and I this could be where her obsession for cleanliness begins. In the monologue it would be hard for Bennett to create humour aimed at the old lady's misfortune, where she is put in a position which is very desperate - alone, in pain, condemning herself to death. ...read more.


Graham is not fond of Mr Turnbull, as he is changing Graham's day to day routine which upsets him. When Vera criticises Graham he decides to resort in not saying anything which is very childish behaviour, another hint that he has mental problems. Also During lunch with Mr Turnbull, when enquired about his job, Graham goes to the toilet ignoring the question. But Vera tells: "He's between jobs at present. He used to do soft toys for handicapped children. Then he was making paper flowers at one stage". This is a clue that he is mentally ill, followed by him later being told to take a tablet. By the audience believing that he is mentally unstable, this creates pathos for Graham. He may be arrogant but the fact that he is dependant on his mother makes the viewers pity him. To conclude I believe that the way in which the characters are shown in the episodes and the way they act, supported by the well scripted monologues in which they are acted from, makes the audience both laugh and feel sorry fro the characters that are in the monologues. The pathos that we give to the characters is not put in front of us, but we get to understand the characters before making a judgement on them, and we realise that many of them will not achieve much during their lifetime, a common theme in the monologues. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ryan Copleston 11B Talking Heads Coursework ...read more.

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