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

How Does Priestley Build Up Dramatic Tension in Act 1 Of An Inspector Calls?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Does Priestley Build Up Dramatic Tension in Act 1 Of An Inspector Calls? Throughout the play, "An Inspector Calls" Priestley's main objective is to have the Inspector interrogate the Birlings and in doing this increase the tension of the play. Tension is created when two forces act against each other like an antagonistic pair and it creates a feeling of tightness or strain. To do this, Priestley uses a range of dramatic devices. In order to show the development of the tension, Priestley's key dramatic devices will be discussed. Prior to the play, Priestley heightens the tension by including stage directions in the script. Stage directions are how Priestley wanted the play to be set as it would be the best way of increasing the tension. Priestley writes: "The lighting should be pink an intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder." This shows how the lighting will portray a comfortable and warm atmosphere and then when the Inspector arrives, the lights will change, startling the audience. ...read more.

Middle

When talking about the Titanic he mentions "absolutely unsinkable" and when talking about war Birling says:"Nobody wants war." The Titanic sank in 1912 and war began in 1914. Both were key events in British History and could be metaphors for the family. The Titanic sank like the morale of the family when the Inspector arrived and War destroyed Germany like the Inspector's allegations. This creates dramatic tension, as a contemporary audience knows how these events happened and ended in destruction. Priestley then focuses his attention on the in-script stage directions. In-script stage directions are adverbs to tell the actor how to say the text. This can be slowly or quickly, loud or soft. We find out the Inspector is coming due to a "sharp" ring of the doorbell. Everyone, especially Eric, becomes uneasy and Mr Birling becomes rather angry. Priestley writes; Eric (who is uneasy, sharply) and Birling (sharply, staring at him) This increases the tension as the audience notices this change in the characters speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that Eric aids the Inspector increases the tension further. Finally, Priestley uses the Inspector's entrance to bring the tension to boiling point. Priestley leaves the Act with the Inspector saying: "Well?" This has now exploded the tension for Act 1 and it is just after Gerald has admitted hid relationship to Daisy Renton and he thinks he can keep it from the Inspector. The "Well?" increases the tension as it could mean that the Inspector knows of Gerald's guilt as it is perfectly timed, just after Gerald had admitted his guilt in the poor girl's death. It could also mean that the Inspector knows that the family are holding something back and he is signalling for them to tell him. He could just as well have said "So?" but "Well?" is a longer word which could mean that he knows more than they think. In conclusion, the tension gradually increases throughout the Act as soon as the Inspector arrives. The Inspector brings dramatic devices such as the stage directions changing to make the characters uneasy and angry. His entrance creates tension as he leaves the Act with an intriguing "Well?" ...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)

    You can tell by what Mr Birling says here, that he is extremely interested in getting on Gerald's good side.

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

    The play is in real time, this helps to build up the dramatic tension as there are a few seconds between each act. Priestley ends the acts with a high moment of drama so the audience is left waiting. The whole play is set in only one place, the Birling's dining room.

  1. Compare the script of 'An Inspector Calls' to the filmed version

    He was chose for his mystery and 'eeriness' and so he could play the mysterious Inspector. There have been many remakes of J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' recently there has been one directed by Stephen Daldry who used a very symbolised look at the play.

  2. Discuss how Priestley creates dramatic tension during Gerald's and Mrs Birling's conversations with the ...

    There was hunger and unemployment. There were national strikes, as people could no longer live as they were being treated. They suffered from 2 world wars. England seemed a land of plenty but only because people ha such few benefits.

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

    As Gerald was looking after an apartment for a friend, he let Daisy move into that apartment. Gerald found Daisy attractive from the start and their affair developed a short time later. He admits that Daisy's feelings for him were stronger than his own for her.

  2. How does J.B. Priestley build dramatic tension up in the play 'An Inspector Calls"?

    The Inspector's arrival adds tension as he is unexpected and his business is a mystery to all members of the family. His manner is very formal and direct. At the time the Inspector would have been considered very rude. "I'd like some information, if you don't mind Mr Birling."

  1. How Does Priestly Build Up Tension at the ends of Acts 1 and 2 ...

    Sheila shows her feelings of tenseness and nervousness when she begins to laugh hysterically. Gerald wants to keep the fact he knows the girl from the Inspector and Sheila remarks, " Why - you fool - he knows. Of course he knows.

  2. JB Priestley ends each act on a note of high drama. Examine how tension ...

    The speeches that Mr. Birling makes are most of the time long, boring and show that he is egotistical. His speeches reveal a great deal about the social context. They include a lot of dramatic irony for example when Mr.

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