• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Inspector Calls Essay Timing and stage directions are central to the text as a play. What is the role of these techniques in the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls Essay Timing and stage directions are central to the text as a play. What is the role of these techniques in the play? Priestley's main idea is that "we are members of one body" and need to take care of each other. He expresses this through the death of Eva Smith and inspector Goole. Also the inspector tries to warn about ww1 through Goole's and speech "fire, blood and aguish", "we don't live alone. We are members of one body." Priestley's tries to show that pride comes before a fall especially false shown by characters. Pride is shown as being rooted in shallow soil, with no important base. Also Priestley explores the idea of lies and now the characters lie to each other and themselves. Other lies concern how characters define respectability and truth. Moreover, the play points out the need for responsibility in every member of society; responsibility for each other, not only for individual actions, but also how they affect others. The inspector voices Priestley's views throughout the play most strongly but is joined by Sheila and, to a lesser degree, by Eric. Stage directions are important in the play as they can describe characters through actions and reactions. Stage directions at the start of the play establish a typical murder mystery. ...read more.

Middle

He is also disgusted and enraged by how badly Eva Smith has been treated by all of the family for their selfish reasons. He warns "Public men, Mr Burling, have responsibilities as well as privileges" Timing is central to the play. When the inspector says that Eva Smith changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald's reaction "what?" gives him away as he cuts the inspectors speech building tension in the audience. The stage directions say "startled" here and that would show Gerald's involvement in the scene creating extra tension. Also Gerald saying "what?" also startles the audience having a 'mimic' effect. This effect is created by the actions in stage directions of that character and is a typical example of the role of stage directions and timing in the play. Furthermore timing is used to delay to add more tension and leave the audience on cliff hangers. For example Act 1 ending when the audience finds out Gerald is involved too. Not to mention when the audience has to wait longer while "he goes across to the Tantalus on the sideboard for a whisky". Likewise his conversation with Sheila creates more tension as they want to know the whole story. There are only three acts in the play. They are held there to create tension in the audience and create cliff hangers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also when Birling "produces a huge sigh of relief" the audience also produces a huge sense of relief but there is a false sense of security too. That is because Sheila is still "tensely" and "passionately" thinking about the issues raised. In addition to this when the "telephone rang sharply" at the end and a real inspector was coming to inspect, a mockery was made of Gerald and Mr and Mrs Birling's elaborate self-congratulation. Also Goole's name attracts attention increasing the tension and keeping the audience wanting more. In conclusion timing and stage directions are central to and play however in this play they are crucial as they cause the most integral impacts on the audience. This works well as the genre of this play is a murder mystery. Stage directions emphasise emotions, thoughts and personality and help the audience understand the mystery whereas timing causes the audience to wait to build up tension. They both together tell the audience far more than speech. Additionally correct timing can provide time for the audience to try and predict what's upcoming and get a better sense of the plot. The best examples of this are "there is a moment of complete silence" after the phone rings; "they stare guiltily and dumbfounded". Another example is "he puts the telephone down slowly and looks in a panic stricken fashion at the others". This proves to the reader how timing and stage direction are central to the play and how integral their role is. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    She becomes more mature as the play progresses and in the current National Theatre production she moves into the Inspector's light. This is symbolic of her moving from an enclosed life into the real world and her being enlightened by the truth of her part in Eva's death.

  2. An inspector calls - Scene 1 Stage Directions

    Additional lighting and special effects would be used minimally so as not to distract from the dialogue and persona of the characters. To the left of the dinning table is a door where Edna the parlormaid stands timidly, with head slightly bowed awaiting instructions.

  1. Who is inspector Goole and what is his function in the play? How may ...

    This makes the audience think more about the play and questions are raised such as, are they being held as prisoners, even though Eric and Gerald leave they have to return.

  2. How is tension created in Act 3 of 'An Inspector Calls' and how it ...

    This ties in with the historical background because people were separated into the upper class, middle class or the working class. The upper class were a group of people who were at the top of the social hierarchy. They didn't have to work for a living as they were supported by earned or inherited investments.

  1. How would you stage Inspector Goole(TM)s entrance, and the reactions of the other characters ...

    The Inspector himself should wear "a plain darkish suit of the period", a bowler hat, and should have muddy shoes which he should make no effort to wipe or remove as he enters the house. The austere nature of his clothes embodies his no-nonsense attitude, and how he awakens the characters to the harsh reality of events.

  2. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    "What happened then?" "Was she drunk too?" "But you took her home again?" These questions are pushing the story along and lead the characters into a "trap" so that they subconsciously confess to the Inspectors implications and confirm what he already knows.

  1. An Inspector Calls: How are timing and stage directions used for effect?

    His wife, Mrs Birling is described as "about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior". This tells us that Mr Birling wasn't always rich and upper class, and that he has obviously bettered himself. From these descriptions, we can tell they are not a very nice couple.

  2. "An Inspector Calls" - issues raised in the play concerning the social structure ...

    Priestley benefits from this in that he keeps people interested and always wanting to know what path the story of the play will take. Between acts there may be an interval or a curtain-down for a period of time, this entices the audience to really think about the play and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work