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

How do stage directions and dialogue in 'Billy Liar' help to illustrate the characters of Barbara, Rita and Liz

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do stage directions and dialogue in 'Billy Liar' help to illustrate the characters of Barbara, Rita and Liz? In the play ' Billy Liar' the central character, Billy, has three different girlfriends. Each girl has a dramatically different personality, and the stage directions give a clear indication as to the nature of these differences. The dialogue also gives a clear sense of character, with each girl speaking and interacting in a distinct way. Firstly the character of Barbara is quite peculiar, the narrator had described her as being a nineteen year old girl, who is large and well built, dressed in a tweed suit with flat-heeled shoes, she is also carrying a large handbag. From this description we are given, the reader would have presumably had an image of an unattractive girl, also with the types of clothes she wears, there is no evidence that she is in to fashion. From the way Billy approaches Barbara, her body language seems to be quite stiff and well reserved, this is shown in the following lines in Act 1 (p.23): Billy- (moving to kiss her) Barbara- (moving away) stage directions This is an example of a dramatic action within the play because the character is making insignificant body movements, to stay away from Billy. Billy reaction to Barbara's attitude is very slick, in order to make Barbara a bit livelier, he is giving her passion pills. ...read more.

Middle

This is all due to the tone and use of language, which she delivers in the play. It is not surprising that her first stage direction is to move forward menacingly, Rita is one of those 'small people' who try to act 'big', her behaviour is very childish as she imitates everyone all the time. Only seventeen years old, Rita is the youngest of Billy's girlfriends but at the same time the most immature. Rita' conversation mainly consists of clich�s and expressions picked up on romantic evenings spent with friendly American airmen. This reflects a great deal toward her personality, due to spending time with American airmen she would have got used to using slang, which she uses whilst speaking towards other characters. Here is an example in the play of her attitude towards Billy: Rita- Ooh! Look what's crawled out of the cheese! Get back in the knife-box, big head. This is a classic example of the use of language she uses, in a way she insults Billy, she is trying to say that Billy is acting clever, 'get back in the knife box'. Although she is offending Billy, surprisingly, Billy's reaction to Rita is not perceived by anyone. Instead he acts soft on her, this is the kind of character Billy is, trying to enjoy his 'love-life' by having as many girlfriends and not to lose them by acting harsh. ...read more.

Conclusion

But Liz's behaviour and personality is very nice, this is shown in her use of language, for example: Liz (with mock obedience)- Yes, sir. She addresses him with far more respect than any of the other girlfriends. One reaction by Liz that did not occur with the other characters was that Liz was the only one to put her arms round Billy: Liz puts her arms around Billy and kisses him. He responds. They break away. (Stage direction) In effect Liz could be classed as being in-between the personality of Barbara and Rita, whereby she is not a lively a Rita but at the same time not as dull as Barbara. In the play 'Billy Liar', the characters show a lot of dramatic action, including changes of attitude, resolutions and in some cases insignificant body movements. These are all partly due to the stage directions and also how the author wants the personalities of the characters to be. The characters dialogue with others has also been significant throughout the play because it gives the reader a clear idea of what is happening in the play. We also see that characters like Rita use slang and dialect to position her in the play with other characters like Billy. There are a lot of strong characters in the play 'Billy Liar' for example Rita and Barbara. The purpose of including these types of characters is to create dramatic tension in the play together with making the play more interesting and with more action. Fahad Syed English GCSE Coursework 11.07 1 ...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 Educating Rita 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 Educating Rita essays

  1. Educating Rita Coursework

    become more lady-like and is making a conscious effort to show Frank that she has changed.

  2. Educating Rita: How does the play write show the audience the differences between the ...

    And this seems to reflect the way he lives his life in general. Franks moment of relaxation is quickly shattered when Rita bursts through the door in a state of intense excitement, after visiting a profession theatre the night before for the first time.

  1. BILLY LIAR COURSEWORK: 'Explain how both humour and conflict are created in the scene ...

    (She gives him a long, steady look.) I haven't published it yet. The build up to the scene where Rita and Barbara clash starts ever since you find out that Billy has got himself engaged to two girls because the audience must think that they have to clash at sometime as it is inevitable in reality if the same situation was to occur.

  2. Billy Liar; How would I play Billy

    Once he had hung up the phone, the actions he does whilst the others are talking are quite important. I would have him doing one of two things; Either he would be off the set completely, but ready to walk back in to phone Arthur.

  1. Billy Liar Secret Ending

    Barbara (still slightly angry) Who are you? Have you come for the ring as well? Liz No, I haven't come for that rotten ring, I've come to see Billy. I tell you that boys got a lot of explaining to do. Barbara (now fully calm) Me to. I'm his fianc� you see, and so, apparently, is she.

  2. Billy Liar - Discuss your opinions of Billy's 3 girlfriends. Do they give a ...

    We see this in Florence (Billy's Gran) when she finally gets a word in. "Mucky Liz" as she is nicknamed by the people that know her isn't even "mucky". I think this re-enforces the fact that people believed women should only indulge in sex during marriage. This is a sign of the time.

  1. Billy's Relationships with women of his own age in the play 'Billy Liar' - ...

    and her wishful wants to be accepted into the fisher house hold. Billy almost uses Barbara as a sport as well as a challenge, he does this by telling her the most outrageous lies and making her believe them to be reality.

  2. Billy Liar 20th Century Drama Coursework.

    Geoffrey is sitting in a chair reading his paper. Billy can hear his mum in the kitchen. Geoffrey doesn't look up from his paper. Geoffrey: Bloody hell look who it is! Alice runs in with a tea towel in her hand. Alice: Billy your back! I'd thought you'd gone.

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