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Examine the presentation of Stanhope in R

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Introduction

Examine the presentation of Stanhope in R.C Sheriff's Journeys End. In your answer refer to: * His reputation * His relationship with other characters * His effectiveness as a leader In this essay I am hoping to explore all the prospects of Journeys End that deal with the characterization of Stanhope during the play. The company commander, Stanhope, is a leader from an English school who had played cricket and 'rugger' brilliantly and is now a great inspiration to his men at the front. Stanhope's drinking clearly dramatizes the stresses of war but he is hailed by his men as one of the best Company Captains in the army. After three years on the front line he is left nervous and exhausted. R.C sheriff effectively introduces Stanhope using the Hardy, Osbourne dialogue. This dialogue not only establishes that a major enemy offensive is imminent but also serves as a base point for Sheriff in developing Stanhope's character. The character of Stanhope is discussed, references made to his capacity of heavy drinking but also his line record as a company commander. Stanhope is not introduced personally but rather by an incompetent coworker who seems to touch upon the darkness of Stanhope's personality. ...read more.

Middle

The dramatic structure of Journey's End is sensitively craft throughout the work Sheriff orchestrates, numerous tensions gradually build up to their climax and are then resolved. At the end of Act 1 Stanhope's deepest fears that Raleigh will reveal his weaknesses to his fianc�e make him pronounce a fierce and bitter attack, 'What's that bloody little prig of a boy matter? Do you see?' As well as the obvious relationship, and source of conflict, between Stanhope and Raleigh, Stanhope also has a close relationship with Osborne, the 'uncle like' figure in the play. R.C Sheriff makes it seem inevitable that Osborne and Raleigh, 'the boy with everything to live for' should be doomed. Ironically this is contrasted with Stanhope who has survived luckily for years in the desperate hope of returning back home. Overcome with drink Stanhope resolves to censor any letters Raleigh may have written. Exhausted Stanhope retires to bed and in an unguarded moment when he asks Osbourne to 'tuck him into bed and kiss him goodnight', he is revealed as a young boy seeking a parent's reassurance. The curtain is brought down on a tranquil scene in which the audience can see the lights twinkling off stage, and symbolically Osbourne winding his watch; this signifies the passing of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shoot!' When Stanhope doesn't shoot the reader again sees the understanding and compassionate side of Stanhope's character. This scene also displays Stanhope's effectiveness as a leader as he is able to persuade Hibbert back to the front line. When Osborne dies Sheriff displays another influential element of Stanhope's character. The fact that Stanhope almost seems to blame Raleigh for Osborne's is instantly deciphered by the Victorian audience as immoral and wrong 'Must you sit on Osborne's bed?' Through out the play Stanhope seems to drift further and further away from Raleigh until the climax where Raleigh is dying and their true relationship is portrayed. The true nature of Stanhope's character is expertly conveyed to the audience by Sheriff. The relationship between Stanhope and Raleigh is shown through the understanding and compassionate side of Stanhope. 'Sure! I'll bring a candle and get another blanket' this is important as it concludes the reader's judgment of Stanhope which has been building up through out the play. In conclusion I think Stanhope's character is displayed very effectively by Sheriff thus being appealing to the Victorian/Jacobean audience. The contrast between Stanhope's 'dark' side and his rather more appealing compassionate side is displayed by Sheriff in a number of subtle ways which I think is the key to the development of Stanhope's character. ...read more.

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