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

Entrances and exits can provide many moments of dramatic tension in theatre. In An Inspector Calls, how does Priestley use the entrances and exits of characters to create dramatic tension? Choose at least three examples from the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Entrances and exits can provide many moments of dramatic tension in theatre. In An Inspector Calls, how does Priestley use the entrances and exits of characters to create dramatic tension? Choose at least three examples from the play. In this essay I will examine the effects of entrances and exits that Priestley has used in order to build up and create dramatic tension in 'An Inspector Calls.' Dramatic tension is the effect the action has on the audience and the atmosphere that is created. To do this I will examine three examples, these are Inspector Gooles' entrance, Sheilas' exit after seeing the photograph of Eva Smith and Inspector Gooles' exit. My first entrance is Inspector Gooles' entrance at the beginning of the play in Act 1. Straight away when he enters we, the audience, can tell he is a man who won't let anyone take control of him. This is shown as he is described as creating an impression of 'massiveness, solidity and purposefulness.' The lighting alters the atmosphere. Before the Inspector arrives the lighting is 'pink and intimate' but once the Inspector has entered the lighting is 'brighter and harder', which makes the characters turn serious and makes us, the audience, watch with more intense. This also has a physical effect on the audience as if the light is brighter and harder it will be difficult for the audience to see the stage therefore they will be expecting something to happen or go wrong. ...read more.

Middle

Before Sheila is shown the photograph the Inspector is questioning Mr Birling, who wants to go into a quite corner to discuss Eva Smiths' death but Sheila cuts in and says 'Why should you? He's finished with you. He says it's one of us now.' What Sheila says connects to her exit because she acts as if she has nothing to do with the incident. She does not realise she does until the Inspector mentions Milwards. Dramatic tension is than built up even more when Shelia asks 'What-what did the girl look like?' When she asks this we, the audience, feel that she is starting to panic and could possible know who Eva Smith was. When the Inspector is about to show Sheila the photograph, 'He moves nearer a light-perhaps standard lamp.' This alters the atmosphere because the characters on stage as well as the audience are just focusing on the little bit of light coming from the lamp. This builds up dramatic tension as we, the audience, are trying to see Sheilas reaction but find it challenging due to there being only a certain amount of light on the stage where she is. Sheila recognizes the photograph 'and than runs out.' This exit has an effect upon the audience because we first got the feeling that Sheila may have known Eva Smith but now we definitely know Sheila knew Eva as she recognized her. ...read more.

Conclusion

This also creates dramatic tension because once the Inspector has left no one knows what will happen so everyone is waiting in suspense to find out. The Inspectors' exit has an effect upon the audience because we are left waiting and wondering whether the Birlings will go back to normal and act as if nothing happened. The effect is mainly suspense as first the Inspector comes, than makes the Birlings and Gerald confess and than leaves after causing tension between the Birlings. We, the audience, are thinking and trying to figure out what will happen next. Overall I think that the entrances and exits in 'An Inspector Calls' are to unbelievable and predictable because they are all to perfectly timed according to what has just been said. For example when Mrs Birling does not believe that Eric could do such a thing Eric walks in at that exact moment, this is all to much of a coincidence. However the entrance still creates dramatic tension. The entrances and exits are predictable due to Priestley using unity of time, when the play takes place in 'real time', unity of place, the Birlings' dining room throughout the play and unity of action, there is one plot where every action and dialogue relates to one story line. The way Priestley has used entrances and exits as a device to increase dramatic tension in the play is interesting because it created suspense due to the audience not knowing what will happen next. ...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 J.B. Priestley 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 J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Priestley create dramatic tension in Act 1 of An Inspector Calls up ...

    3 star(s)

    the men are in tails and white ties" This implies a sense of formality within the family, which again makes the setting less home-like and comfortable; suggesting that the characters may all be very distant from each other. It also suggests how wealth can make people feel uncomfortable and is another physical reminder that materialism does not bring happiness.

  2. J.B Priestley's use of language, character, and setting for dramatic effect in 'An Inspector ...

    terms because they think that they're better than others, and feel the need to speak in these colloquial terms. The language used is effective on the audience, in the way that there's virtually always an underlying meaning somewhere in each point brought up in the play in relation towards Eva's

  1. How does J.B. Priestley create dramatic tension and suspense in Act One of "An ...

    to Gerald, rather than "is it the one I wanted?" This shows that Gerald is in be charge of their relationship together, and that he could end it at any time. Sheila then says "I'll never let it go out of my sight for an instant!"

  2. How does Priestley build dramatic tension at the end of Act two of An ...

    He is an optimistic and selfish man and boasts about his business and what he has achieved in life. He believes that people should not form communities and that "a man has to make his own way." Mrs Sybil Birling is described at the beginning as "about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior."

  1. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    None of the characters in the play ever question their lifestyle ideas and values, they all seem to take their high social status and its advantages for granted. Neither member of the family realise what life is like for the poor people around the town, who have no idea to

  2. An Inspector Calls. The play has many dramatic moments, explore these in relation ...

    considers herself to be a social superior, whereas towards the end of the play Sheila's character develops maturely and within the ongoing conflict she becomes more apt to the idea of collective responsibility. 'The worst part is. But your forgetting one thing I still can't forget'.

  1. An Inspector Calls - Look closely at the opening of the play up to ...

    During the war class did not divide society. There was no rich or poor, everything was rationed so people looked the same, wore similar, drab clothes and ate comparable foods. In the armed forces rich and poor alike shared barracks and were treated equally.

  2. Show how in "An Inspector Calls" Priestley creates dramatic tension through focus on characters, ...

    is against her son's marriage to Sheila, as she thinks he is marrying beneath himself socially. This is most likely to be true, as both Mr and Mrs Croft are not celebrating the engagement at the Birlings, which is unusual.

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