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How does Sherriff make the character of Stanhope engaging for the audience?

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Introduction

How does Sherriff make the character of Stanhope engaging for the audience? Sherriff makes Stanhope a complex character by showing the way he changes between his feelings. He shifts from being known as a ?drunkard? to someone that starts to understand people?s feelings towards the war and their own problems. Stanhope goes through a lot of changes and situations, most of these he copes with by having a few cups of whiskey. This leads to him become aggressive to anyone that does the smallest thing wrong, which may not concern him. We see how Stanhope becomes more affectionate and understanding towards other people. Sherriff also shows us how Stanhope has many different sides to him and how he expresses these feelings towards his fellow colleagues. We will see how and why his behavior towards other people might be so, aggressive at times and calm and caring at others. At the beginning of the play Sherriff lets us build our own impression of Stanhope. At first impression we know that Stanhoe copes with the war mainly by drinking. ...read more.

Middle

The way Stanhope replied to Hibbert?s comment shows Stanhope to be a multi-dimensional leader, since he is both intimidating and encouraging. Stanhope has no sympathy toward Hibbert even though he is clearly ill, but yet Stanhope tells him to go back on to the front line and fight otherwise he will be shot. This creates a sense of pathos towards Hibbert, by the audience, because Hibbert is very ill and is not fit enough to fight on the frontline. Eventually Stanhope realises that his actions towards Hibbert were wrong, also that Hibbert had the same problem as Stanhope they were both traumatized by the war. One key aspect of Stanhope?s character that makes him engaging is his temper. He shows very little respect for the people around him. He shouts at Raleigh? ? D?you understand and order? Give me that letter!? The word ?order? defines the fact that he is demanding in this case towards Raleigh about a letter. Stanhope also has very little respect for people who are in higher ranks than him. This is shown when Stanhope is talking to Raleigh about Osborne?s death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Just lie there quietly for a bit?. The affectionate term ?old boy? shows a new and caring side to Stanhope. Sherriff is allowing us to see a deeper tenderness in Stanhope, making us realise that although war changes people and bring pressures, old loyalties still exist. In conclusion Sherriff makes Stanhope engaging to the audience by placing emphasis on Stanhope?s emotions. The variations of his feelings keep the audience interested into what he is thinking and what his next action will be. In this way the audience understand what he is going through and understand how hard it must be to be in the army under such harsh conditions. Sherriff makes the audience feel sorry for Stanhope, when at times they should not because at time he does not deserve it since he is doing the wrong things e.g. drinking whiskey and shouting at innocent people for no reason. However the audience can understand why Stanhope behaves like this, it is because of his sense of vulnerability. Through his relationship with Raleigh and Hibbert we see that underneath the aggression he is caring. This makes him seem very real and lets him gain a lot of pathos. By Jaipal Mandair 11B ...read more.

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