• 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

    When Stanhope realises the enormity of Raleigh's injury he orders the sergeant major to 'go at once and bring two me with a stretcher' revealing how he used use his authority against Raleigh but now he is helping him. Sherriff allows the internalisation Stanhope and as a result the audience would feel uneasy as they empathize with his desperation.

  2. Critical Evaluation - "The Journey of the Magi" - T. S. Eliot.

    The "three trees" represent the three crosses on Calvary, where Jesus and two thieves were crucified. The "old white horse" symbolizes Christ when he was resurrected. The "Tavern" represents the vinegar wine that was offered to Christ while on the cross by Roman guards.

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

    To add to this Sheriff has illustrated how war has disfigured their perceptions of the outside world. '"Gas!"- and we put on our masks; and then I spotted what it was'. This shows the paranoia caused by the war. The soldiers fear everything they see and hear, and cannot remove the scars of war from their minds.

  2. What is the effect of warfare on the characters and their relationships in "Journey's ...

    He is scared and wants to go home. He is in a state of desperation and wants to retreat from the sickening trenches. He fears that he is going to die and convinces Stanhope that he has neuralgia. 'This neuralgia of mine...I'm afraid I can't stick it any longer -.'

  1. Journey's End: R.C Sherriff uses the characters in his play Journey's End to create ...

    This tells the audience that they must feel frustrated and unhappy about the raid going ahead. After Stanhope and the Colonel leave Osborne starts to calm Raleigh's nerves as he is very nervous about going over the top. He has to tell Raleigh that everyone might not come back but

  2. Journey's End

    The main characters are introduced one-by-one by entering and leaving the trench and having conversation with each other in their trench when they are not on patrol. Each character comes and goes and talks to another character and they way they talk about each other and themselves can give a brief description of their characteristics.

  1. Journeys End Drama Studies

    The silences in the slightly broken conversation also add to the tension because each silence makes the audience more confident that Stanhope is not happy about Raleigh's appearance. Stanhope also uses very short sentences, these make him seem very snappy and unwilling to talk.

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

    He realizes that other people have feelings and starts to understand their feelings and sees how some of these feelings relate to him. Throughout the play Stanhope has not really become fond of Raleigh even though they were best friends at school and that Raleigh?s sister and Stanhope are going to get married.

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