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A Question of Attribution

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Discuss how Alan Bennett uses art as a metaphor in Blunts conversations with Chubb and the Queen. While watching the play you begin to notice the ongoing reference of art throughout. As it develops further you see that in fact the art is being used as a disguise during conversations held between Blunt, Chubb and the Queen. Underneath the disguise you are able to deduce that the art references are actually linked in with the characters themselves, one in particular. In a way it leaves you wondering, after every conversation, was that really about art? In this essay we will discuss certain points where it is clear art is being used as an obvious disguise for its true meaning. Firstly Alan Bennett uses the 'Triple Portrait' as a close link to the plays plot. The painting itself is very similar to the main character: Blunt and his story. When examined it was found that underneath the paint of the Triple Portrait, were hidden drawings. It was found that underneath the painting itself there were drawings of a 4th and 5th man. The discovery of these secret drawing is in a way similar to the discovery of Blunts secret identity. ...read more.


This quotation can be seen as having a double meaning. It describes the painting as being 'able to avoid exposure'; the double meaning in this is to do with Blunts secret identity. It seemed that Blunt always believed he would never be discovered but unfortunately, he was exposed. Once again art references relate closely to Blunts character. In addition to this art is used further as a disguise to the deeper meaning of the conversation between the Queen and Blunt. During one part of the conversation held, Blunt uses a phrase once again linked with art but when looked at closely another meaning can be discovered. Blunt tells the Queen how 'in the absence of the public one can see the art'. This quote can be unpicked to be actually describing the way in which Blunt feels towards his hidden secret. By this quote he seems to be indicating how he feels he cannot mix with the public due to his newly exposed secret. It seems he is ashamed and in a way wants to hide away from everyone else. ...read more.


Finally, the last scene is where we see Blunt for the last time as 'Sir Anthony Blunt', due to the fact that the ending marked the point where Blunts loses his title, his job and is finally, completely exposed. He loses everything. Just before the curtain falls 'Chubb and Blunt sit spotlight for a moment, looking at each other, before the lights fade'. When the lights fade it seems to symbolise his death. Everything he holds precious to him his lost. The art in which he knows and loves has gone, as the light fades it seems as if the light inside him has faded to. In conclusion it is clear that when you begin watching A Question of Attribution, you are fooled into believing that all the different characters have their own straightforward roles. As the play develops, we see this is not the case. All the characters are found to have secrets and nothing is as it seems. Bennett has incorporated artwork in with the storyline to add to the overall effect on the audience. By making the play more complicated it encourages the audience to use their imagination in order to piece together the deeper meaning of this play. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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