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Compare the different ways in which Willy Russell creates humour in the first and final scenes of "Educating Rita" and comment on how what you found reflects the change in the characters and their relationship.

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Introduction

Ellen Silvey 10G 21st November 2003 "EDUCATING RITA POST-1914 DRAMA- YEAR 10 Compare the different ways in which Willy Russell creates humour in the first and final scenes of "Educating Rita" and comment on how what you found reflects the change in the characters and their relationship. There are many different types of humour in Educating Rita, such as slapstick humour, the humour of the use of language and visual humour. One example of this is that Willy Russell uses stage directions to portray humour. The focus of the humour in this play changes from the beginning to the end as it mirrors the power switch from Frank to Rita. We can see this because we laugh at Rita in a light hearted way, but the tone of the humour changes as the power shifts, and in the last scene we laugh at Frank in a more negative way. The humour mirrors the development of Frank and Rita because in Act 1, Scene 1 we laugh at the mistakes Rita makes as she tries to become educated. However, in Act 2, scene 7, we laugh ironically at Frank, as he leaves forever a broken man. ...read more.

Middle

We know that if he had not drunk all the bottles of whisky in the first place, then he would not be going to Australia in the first place. In some of the play, humour comes from confusion. It also comes from Rita being uneducated, ignorant and having a limited vocabulary. An example of this is when in 1,1, Frank asks for Rita's name using the phrase "You are?" Rita replied with "I'm a what?". Rita also confuses 'Forster' with 'Foster'. In 2,7 Frank says that Fosters lager is named after H.E Forster, but spelt wrong. When Rita is being laughed at, the humour comes from confusion, and the audience can understand the mistakes being made. When Frank makes the joke about Fosters beer, it's fully intentional, and we laugh, unusually, at someone other than Frank or Rita. We laugh at the Australians. This reflects the power share because in 1,1, we laugh at Rita because she is neither sure of herself nor educated. When we laugh at Frank it is because he is beginning to become out of place where we believed he belonged. The mistakes, which Rita made, were written in this way because of her background. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this play, he shows the success of a lower class woman, two factors which would have provided a hindrance to Rita at the time, in getting a good education, and whilst doing this, showing the failure of a well educated upper class man, who would have been thought of at the time as at the top end of society. This play shows Willy Russell trying to break the mould of who could get an education, and similarly that just because you have a good education, it doesn't mean that you will be a success. I think that these two scenes, even though they use similar types of humour, are extremely distanced, both in content and in the roles of the characters in the scene. This is because the humour is changing direction from one scene to the other. In both of the scenes, the type of humour the character uses expresses their personal feeling successfully. In the first scene, we laugh at Rita because she seems so out of place. In 2,7 we laugh at Frank ironically, because he seems to have lost everything. The tone of the humour also changes. In 1, it is light-hearted and fun. In 2,7 it is ironic, bittersweet and more serious humour, which even though we laugh at, we know we should be feeling sorry for Frank, even though he has bought everything upon himself. ...read more.

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