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Argue the case that "Journey's End" is still worthy of being staged today.

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Introduction

Argue the case that "Journey's End" is still worthy of being staged today. "Journey's End" by R.C Sherriff is a play which gives a realistic picture of life in a First World War trench. Performed in 1928 when the bitter memories of war were still fresh, it made a profound impact on those who saw it. It was uncompromising and showed the awful truth to those who had been given the diluted version. Until then, the harsh reality had been hidden and a brave front of victory and triumph put on, masking the truth about the suffering of the soldiers. They had also had a stretch of momentum, enjoying the victory of the War and a peaceful land, and by 1928 they were ready to know the truth. For those who see it today, however, it would not only teach them about war and how our country came to be through the strength and spirit of those who fought and gave their lives, but it also provides the audience with moments of high drama, light hearted humour and deep poignancy. These are often not found in the commonly staged plays of today such as "Grease" and "Joseph" whose only meanings are to teach the youngsters of today that they should dream about love and fame, things not relevant in such a difficult world. ...read more.

Middle

Finally Stanhope says to Hibbert "If you went, I'd have you shot- for deserting". This was because those who tried to leave and abandon the war could be killed. The audience would be very apprehensive, and anxious to see if Hibbert does get shot. The scene then becomes more intense as Stanhope says that he could make it look accidental, to spare Hibbert the disgrace of forsaking his country and he even gives him "Half a minute to decide". The audience would feel more tense now as they see that Stanhope is serious, and they would be excited to see what would happen after the thirty seconds was up. Finally the silence is broken by Hibbert laughing: "Go on then shoot! You won't let me go to hospital. I swear I'll never go in those trenches again! Shoot!". This is a very good example of dramatic tension in the play, as the audience is left in suspense to see if Stanhope actually does shoot him. He counts down "10...5", the anticipation is building and finally reaches its peak, until Stanhope congratulates Hibbert "Good man, Hibbert. I liked the way that you stuck that". ...read more.

Conclusion

Another moment in the play which is very emotive is when Stanhope tells Hibbert that he too suffers from nervousness -" Because I feel the same -exactly the same!" This shows the audience that even the most brave of men who appear to be untouched by the war, are suffering inside. In this scene we also go on to feel pity for Hibbert who was prepared to die, rather then carry on, not knowing when he would die. It helps us to understand the real pressure the men were under, waiting, not knowing whether they would live or die. Overall the play as a whole makes us realise the true courage showed by the men, in risking their lives fighting for their country, helping us to become more understanding, and opening our minds. Although at times the language used may seem outdated, using phrases such as "simply topping" and "jolly bucked", the audiences attention is held throughout. This is done by techniques including high drama, humour and poignancy in the play to ensure that audiences today will find the play interesting to watch, whilst teaching them about how their country came to be at the same time. ...read more.

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