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How Does Sherriff Create a Sense of Pathos in Act Three Scene Three of the Play

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Introduction

How Does Sherriff Create a Sense of Pathos in Act Three Scene Three of the Play? Act Three Scene Three in the play is ultimately the point in which all of the dramatic tension comes to a tragic climax. This sense of pathos is achieved by a number of different factors. The first is that the scene begins with an emotive description of the atmosphere, describing the 'intense darkness of the dugout is softened by the glow of the Very lights' and the 'distant mutter of the guns'. There is also a frequent reference to the cold, which helps to reflect the bitterness of war. The men in the dugout are clearly trying to keep things normal in order to try and suppress their fears about the approaching German attack, for example Trotter sings to himself and Mason fusses about tea and drinks. ...read more.

Middle

This relentlessness of the battle portrays how merciless and horrific life on the front line was. When Raleigh is hit, the first thing we learn is that it has broken his spine and so understand that his condition is most likely fatal. Stanhope then commands that he is brought down into the dugout, which was unusual for a soldier to be treated in this way. A great sense of pathos is created in the conversation that takes place between Raleigh and Stanhope. The first way in which this is achieved is by the way in which the address each other, through use of their first names as opposed to Raleigh and Stanhope. This indicates a revert back to the memories of when they were best friends in school and shows Stanhope's compassionate nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

We learn that Raleigh is on the brink of death when he asks for a light, saying "its so frightfully dark and cold". When Raleigh has passed away, there is a tender moment in which Stanhope just looks at the boy's body on the bed, with the distant sound of thudding shells. A soldier urgently in need of Stanhope's command shatters this moment, and Stanhope leaves the dugout. The stage directions at the very end of the play subtly indicate the fate of the soldiers. The solitary candle burning with a steady flame is a metaphor for Stanhope and his bravery. It then describes the shock of a shell falling 'stabbing out the candle-flame' portraying the death of Stanhope. The collapse of the dugout portrays the death of the rest of the company ...read more.

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