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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Educating Rita 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 Educating Rita essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    With close reference to her speech in Act 1 Scene 4, how does Rita ...

    4 star(s)

    opinion and they don't need to have a degree to have a valid point. The argument that Russell is trying to express through Rita is that working class people are being overlooked by society due to the fact they don't have degrees, and their opinions aren't being listened to.

  2. Re-read Act 1 scenes 6 and 7 of 'Educating Rita.' How does Willy Russell ...

    I think that in this scene Frank is a good teacher because he shows Rita how he is there for her to talk to and he listens to her first experience of something that he has experienced many times before: 'I'm honoured that you chose me.'

  1. Educating for Rita - direct two scenes.

    Another key moment in the scene is when Frank refuses to teach Rita and she says, "I'm on this course, you are my teacher-an' you're gonna bleedin' well teach me."

  2. How does Willy Russell present the changing relationship between Rita and Frank in Act ...

    Foster to Forster and assumes that she means T.S. Eliot and corrects her when she says Arthur instead of Alfred in the name of one of his poems. She makes him laugh with her explanation of assonance as "gettin' the rhyme wrong".

  1. Educating Rita by Willy Russell

    Her new interests in life reflect her new life and gives an impression on the audience by going to the theatre, going around London and buying new clothes so it shows she is trying to get rid of her old life and make room for her new one.

  2. How does Willy Russell use linguistic and dramatic devices to show how Frank and ...

    unintentional, makes the character of Rita seem more real to the audience. As well as being similar to Russell's personal problematic experience of returning to education, 'Educating Rita' is also an example of the Pygmalion effect. Pygmalion is a fictional character from the Roman poet Ovid, found in the tenth book of his Metamorphoses.

  1. Educating Rita: How does Willy Russell present the development of Frank and of Rita ...

    The important thing here to note, though, is that Frank is clearly out of his comfort zone. Likewise, when Rita begins her friendship with the students at the university, Frank seems rather bothered about the matter. Rita says that she has "only been talkin' to them for five minutes and

  2. Explore the development of the characters of Frank and Rita in the play Educating ...

    Rita however is unlike the rest of her clan and doesn't aspire to settling down and relinquishing herself to stretch marks just yet. She wants to discover herself and sees taking an English Literature course at the Open University as an answer.

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