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

Consider the playwright’s stagecraft- what would make “Journey’s End” entertaining for an audience.

Extracts from this document...


G.C.S.E English Literature Coursework. 20th Century Drama "Journey's End" (Rough Draft) TITLE: Theatre managers and producers hesitated to stage "Journey's End. They felt that a play about war, set in one dug out with an all male cast was unlikely to be popular. When it was finally staged, it was a runaway success. Consider the playwright's stagecraft- what would make "Journey's End" entertaining for an audience. Journey's End Theatre managers and producers hesitated to stage Journey's End for many reasons. Journey's End, written by R.C Sherriff is about ten young men in the trenches on the Western Front in the spring of 1918 awaiting a huge German attack. It was rejected by most of theatre managers in London, on the grounds that the public wouldn't find it interesting to watch a play about war and a play excluding women, wouldn't be popular. The play consisting of an all male cast containing no actresses could mean that the play would attract fewer males to watch the play as many might be interested in the actresses, rather than the storyline itself. This would lead to problems for the producers as the total number of tickets sold would be low. ...read more.


The company is anticipating a German attack that could be disastrous if mishandled. In charge is the brilliant young Captain Stanhope, an apparent superman with the capacity to endlessly with little sleep. Subject to unpredictable and frightening mood swings, he still has the support of his battalion and close friend Osborne. Stanhope's ego is shattered when the younger brother of his girlfriend back home is assigned to his company. He Fears the boy will report his deterioration to the girl, Stanhope becomes unhinged and decides to censor his letter. He then realises that Raleigh promotes his reputation further. We also realise he likes things tidy and organised; at the beginning of the play Hardy quickly makes an escape prior to seeing Stanhope. Osborne acts as Stanhope's close friend throughout his hard times and unpredictable mood swings and as I read the play I assume he has done a thousand times in the past. Osborne, who is referred to all the other characters lightly as 'Uncle', seems to be a respectful and loyal to friends. On page 11 he describes Stanhope as a "splendid chap". He instantly becomes close friends with Raleigh and seems to be the perfect listener and friend. ...read more.


Apart from these minor exeptions the dialogue is easily understood. The factors of Journey's End that made it such a hit is the conflict and tension between the characters in the dug-out, and the use of dramatic irony during the play. I believe Sheriff had extraordinary talent in this. We first get a sense of unease and tension when Hardy and Osborne are discussing who should be in command. When Hardy describes the damage done by minnies he replies. "a dug-out got blown up and came down in the men's tea, they were frightfully annoyed". This is an example of hardy underst. The audience loves dramatic irony and we first come across it when Raleigh "hero-worships" Stanhope. He then describes when Stanhope caught people with whiskey and he hit the roof. The audience knows Stanhope's drinking problem although Raleigh is unaware of it. Just before Stanhope finally meets Raleigh he orders a bottle of whisky from Mason. Stanhope sees Raleigh and there is a silence and in a low voice Stanhope says "how did you - get here? Tensions also rise when Hibbert pretends to be ill. When Stanhope refuses to let him go he strikes Stanhope which could is a serious crime. Hibbert's cowardice is dealt with when Stanhope offers his own problems as a comparison. ...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 RC Sheriff 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 RC Sheriff essays

  1. Journeys End Drama Studies

    The only possible reasoning I can think of for Stanhopes behaviour is that Stanhope wants her to think good of him, or that she wouldn't think Stanhope very brave or courageous. This brings me to the very important aspect of Stanhopes character which is repeated throughout the play.

  2. Journey's End

    Hardy: Oh he's a good chap, I know. But I never did see a youngster put away the whisky he does. Osborne: D'you know, the last time we went out resting at Valennes he came to supper with us and drank a whole bottle of whisky in one hour fourteen minutes - we timed him.

  1. In what ways does R.C.Sherriff re-create for his audience the tremendous stress and fear ...

    "There was only two ways of breaking the strain. One was pretending I was ill-and going home; the other was this (He holds up his glass)" The audience can compare him to Hibbert because of this and once again believe him to be a hypocrite.

  2. Horror And Futility In Journeys End

    The horror of war would be revealed to him and the audience would be able to see how Stanhope is changing over the days. The officers in world war one trenches would have their own personal cook. In the play Journey's End, the cook is Mason.

  1. JOURNEY'S END - The Changing Relationship Between Stanhope and Raleigh

    Raleigh : It - hasn't gone through, has it? Stanhope : Its just gone through a bit, Jimmy. This is very emotional, they call each other by their first name, so rank is not an issue, they once again talk as friends and we can now seem to understand why Raleigh was so excited about being in Stanhope's regiment.

  2. Journeys End. Act 2 begins with a feeling of hope. Trotter has comical conversation ...

    Sheriff uses 'Bad cooking' to emphasize the futility of the war. The audience is shown the pointlessness because of Trotter's attitude to Mason. This is because the conflict has not had not had any positive effect on the army's treatment of each other.

  1. Journey's end - Focusing on the exchange between Stanhope and Hibbert in act two, ...

    This displays how men in the same situation as one and another, stick together and put past confrontations behind them. The author R.C Sheriff relies on his clever use of staging and language to shape his impression of the two characters.

  2. How does Sherriff make the character of Stanhope engaging for the audience?

    Stanhope also shows us his softer side by saying this; this tells us that he is not the ?hard man? that he is made out to be. This is engaging because although like Hibbert, we might condemn someone for drinking so much and question whether they are responsible enough to

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