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

Discuss the characters of Maggie and Hobson in their dramatic context. Comment on how they illustrate and highlight the social context of the Victorian era and the effect on the modern audience.

Extracts from this document...


Drama coursework: Discuss the characters of Maggie and Hobson in their dramatic context. Comment on how they illustrate and highlight the social context of the Victorian era and the effect on the modern audience. Maggie and Hobson, the two main protagonists of the play when viewed in their social, moral and historic contexts act as the fulcrum for the play's humour. Brighouse's entertaining play was set in a bootshop in Salford. At that time in Victorian society there were many divisions amongst contrasting groups of people. The Victorians had strong beliefs and values, which are somewhat different to today's modern issues. Middle and upper class Victorian women valued the whole ritual of courting, fine extravagant weddings and a well thought of husband- in business not trade. A single woman was considered of little importance in harsh Victorian society, being thought to be inferior to a man. In addition Victorians held rigid beliefs and opinions on racism and the British Empire. Status in the Victorian culture was very important and the lines between these classes were rarely crossed. Brighouse's purpose in writing the play was to highlight gender issues, provide comedy incidents and focus on social problems, for example the Victorian's attitude to alcohol. Brighouse created Hobson's character to convey the stereotypical middle class family man, whilst introducing humour to the play. Hobson was a respectable businessman who was proud of his position in society. ...read more.


They could only escape from their families through marriage, but needed permission and marriage settlements from their fathers in order for this to happen. In addition they could not be perceived to actually searching for a husband. Even if they did break from their father's strict rules and ideas, there were their husband's expectations to live up to. They were expected to maintain a passive role and conform to their husband's rules, required to run the household without any help. The latest fashions in women's clothing, for example the use of corsets and bustles were impossibly restrictive. Overall in the Victorian period women had few privileges. In the character of Maggie these stereotypical attitudes towards women are overturned. In Act 1 Maggie is portrayed as a businesswoman, never missing an opportunity to make to make a sale when she forced Albert Prosser to purchase the boots. "They're very good boots and you don't need to buy a pair of laces today, because we gave them in as discount." The audience reaction to this is most likely shock and anger in Victorian times, but in modern times no one would mind. The proposal to Will, would have provoked audience judgement. Even today a man would normally take the lead and propose to a woman. Maggie's forceful and strong willed personality in contrast to Will's timid character is evident -"You're going to wed me." Particular incidents in Act 2 convey the turning attitudes towards women stereotypes. ...read more.


Due to her strong character Maggie could have been viewed to be a bit of a rebel for her time, but she also has a delicate nature to her. She rebels against society; in the strict diversions and ideas, but deep down she holds sentimental values on love and life. Overall I believe Maggie to be a strong, determined yet loyal women, ahead of people of time in terms of beliefs and equality. In contrast to Maggie, Hobson achieves different audience response. Hobson is mostly to blame for his gradual decline in his fortunes. His stubborn and obnoxious attitude drove his daughters away and his neglect for his shop ruined the business when Maggie left. In addition Hobson's values, for example men superior to women and strong class systems are societies fault. This was the way most people thought and acted. The daughters left him and his health declined more on the account he had no one to look after him, but the daughters were pushed away. He became very depressed and the level of alcohol consumption increased. Therefore the daughters were not really at fault, but were a minor a factor. Will Mossop took most of Hobson's business when Maggie and him left to better them selves. This meant Hobson lost money and focused more on drink. There were other aspects to consider when analysing Hobson's downfall such as alcohol. His alcohol problem also made his behaviour alter and offend people, this was mainly his fault but society and way of life could have been important aspects to consider. Many people lost the battle to alcohol in Victorian times. ...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 Harold Brighouse 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 Harold Brighouse essays

  1. Hobson's Choice Summary

    Whereas Hobson saw marriage as slavery, it brings freedom to Will and Maggie. Their relationship becomes one based upon genuine affection. Equality Hobson is seen as a bullying parent and a bullying employer. He intends to 'choose a pair of husbands' for Alice and Vickey and doesn't like the way they dress.

  2. Hobson's Choice

    "What about that little building by Humanities, you know the one with the kind of shelter roof thing in the middle?" "What, the building where all of the smokers used to hang around?" I asked making sure that we were thinking of the same place.

  1. Hobson's Choice - How does Brighouse represent the character os Maggie in Act One?

    Brighouse uses a number of different themes incorporated into his play in order to add to the realism and dramatic impact portrayed. Some of these themes today are things that have been eradicated by the progression of society and seem to a younger generation that they only occurred a very

  2. hobson's choiceStudying the Victorian period from Hobson's choice, I rewrote a section of the ...

    Khan: You wanted to see the worker himself mama? Mama H: I said so. Khan: Well, any work done here is my responsibility, so I'm responsible. Mama H: I never said you weren't. Raj Malayalam opens the door and pop's his head out. A black haired man with a grey chest, with his first button undone.

  1. In Act 2 when Alice tells Maggie " I don't know what your aiming ...

    She is totally confident that Willie will go along with her plan and resultantly goes to no great effort in persuading him. She simply tells him her plan that she has decided and simply expects him to go along with it.

  2. Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse.

    Finally, the title of the play itself would represent a tribute to his late friend. In 1914 he wrote the story of Hobson's Choice, set in Salford it depicts local life with an outstanding contribution to the expressiveness of local speech.

  1. `Hobson's Choice` by Harold Brighouse. Why are the characters of Maggie and Will ...

    doesn't want to at first: "I'll be obliged if you will put this notion from you." Because he is promised to Ada Finnings but after Maggie fights for him he agrees that he will marry her: "You're growing on me lass.

  2. Comparing Hobson's (a private limited company) and Mr. K. Day (a sole trader).

    Decisions can be made quicker and Mr. K. Day liable for any actions taken. The business is easy to set up. Mr. K. Day can work whatever hours he wants to. Mr. K. Day has unlimited liability, which means that his own property can be taken away. There are difficulties in raising money.

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