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Educating Rita - 3 most powerful and dramatic scenes in the play.

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Coursework 20th Century Drama- Educating Rita 3 most powerful and dramatic scenes in the play Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell. It is about a hairdresser called Rita; she feels life has passed her by. She commits herself to the Open University course, under the guidance of her teacher Frank. Frank, like Rita, is dissatisfied with life and sees his existence as hollow and sham, occasionally made more bearable by a steady flow of Scotch. The play sees their, often comic, relationship unfold and their journey for some meaning in their lives. Much of the play is based on Russell's background and how he like Rita and Frank was trying to make his life significant and worthwhile. I believe Scenes one, four and eleven are the most dramatic and powerful scenes in the play. I have selected these scenes because firstly they are the three scenes that most influence the story line of the play and shows us the definitive moments of each character. Adding onto that each of those the three scenes are the pivotal stages in the play and in each character's development. Firstly Scene one; this is always going to be one of the most dramatic scenes in the play because it is the opening scene. It sets the tone for the whole play and in a play such as and as short as Educating Rita it has to be dramatic. ...read more.


. Rita: ........ for people like you who eat pebble dashed bread....' This in a way shows us Rita's ignorance, this is epitomised by the stereotypes she has. She aspires to be someone who does eat 'pebble dashed bread', 'pebble dashed bread' being whole meal bread and not white. Another reason why this scene is so powerful is that it brings Willy Russell's humour, delightfully. He does this through Franks and Rita's interaction with each other, and in this scene especially Frank and his alcohol addiction; 'Frank: Where the hell.....? Elliot?......... (he pulls out a pile of books to reveal a bottle of Whisky..... and pours himself a large slug into the mug in his hand)' This is the first piece of dictation in the whole play and immediately the audience will be drawn in, because of the use of comedy. Russell's use of humour ranges from dry intellectual wit to the downright coarse, Frank's addiction a better example of the latter. In addition humour springs from Rita's and Frank's relationship, and the attraction of two very different cultures and backgrounds. In the passage it seems as he is looking for a novel, when in fact he is searching for a bottle of whisky. Later on in the passage he is on the phone to his wife. 'Frank:.....What do you mean am I determined to go to the pub? ...read more.


In the beginning she hates the person the she is and the life she leads, at the end she is at peace with her self. 'Rita: ......... She spends half her life eatin' wholefoods an' health foods to make her live longer an'the other half tryin to kill herself.....' Here she is describing how her friend tried to commit suicide. She was well spoken she ate healthily, but she was not happy with her life. Nor was Rita when she tried to use long words and act different to who she really was. She becomes educated when she realises that that means nothing. That is why she wants to settle and perhaps have a baby. In the final scene we see Frank emerge from his mid-life crisis, he is going to Australia, for a new beginning. This is epitomised by the lovely way in which Russell ends the play Rita giving Frank haircut. Frank having his haircut symbolises a new beginning and a new Frank. Rita cutting Frank's hair symbolises Rita being herself, epitomised by her being happy in doing something she once despised. It wraps the play up wonderfully, and brings out the underlying themes. As I have already said the search for a meaning in life/ 'educated', which is found in the end. The other theme is the light-hearted relationship between Frank and Rita, when Frank shouts ouch as Rita cuts his hair. It is a brilliant way to end their relationship and the play as a whole. ...read more.

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