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Essay - 'The Devil's Disciple' by George Bernard Shaw

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Introduction

Essay - 'The Devil's Disciple' by George Bernard Shaw In the melodrama The Devils Disciple by George Bernard Shaw, Judith Anderson is the only character that becomes a 'changed' person at the end of the play. At first glance, the two main characters Richard Dudgeon and Anthony Anderson seem to be the characters that undergo a character exchange. But as we study the play in greater detail, we are able to explore the significant changes Shaw has intentionally inflicted in Judith Anderson, to convey the theme of 'appearance and reality'. Perhaps it was Judith's identity as the Presbyterian minister of Springfield, Anthony Anderson's wife, that subconsciously pressured her to be the 'very polite' or even 'patronizing' character that she is. An example of the patron character that Shaw is trying to portray in Judith can be seen at the start of the play where Mrs Dudgeon, Richard's mother, is impatiently waiting for her husband's will to arrive. ...read more.

Middle

This therefore shows that this was simply an 'act', to gain acknowledgement and to fulfill her responsibilities as the minister's wife, instead of from her true motives. This idea is further reinforced when Judith thinks herself as - "being a more thoughtful housekeeper than Mrs Dudgeon" As she - "Places a couple of chairs at the table with their backs to the window" Through these thoughts the audience is allowed to see the continuous 'appearance' Judith is trying to portray to the other characters. Contrastingly, towards the end of the melodrama, Shaw has enabled Judith to express her feelings and ideas fully and therefore revealing her true self and motives, without worrying about the responsibilities that she has as Anthony Anderson's wife. This change in Judith is presented at the third scene of the play where Richard Dudgeon, who is mistaken as Anthony Anderson, is being trailed in the court. ...read more.

Conclusion

This dramatic change in Judith can be further conveyed to the audience when she bribes the sergeant to let her stay to witness the last hours of Richard's life. - "Will you take these two silver dollars and let me stay?" This is completely opposite of the pure and holy Judith at the start of the play, as she learns to take her own choices, act by her motives and forget her responsibility as the wife of a minister. Through different actions that Judith has made throughout the play, the audience is able to sense the clear idea of 'appearance and reality'. Shaw has used this character to clearly argue the theme of, 'what seems to be right might not be', fighting the social injustice at the time. This play has successfully contributed to altering the audiences' perception on political matters in their own society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jacky Yeung English essay ...read more.

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