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How Shirley changes in coarse of the play, and how the play is organized to show the importance of these changes?

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Essay- How Shirley changes in coarse of the play, and how the play is organized to show the importance of these changes? The screenplay "Shirley Valentine" is written by Willy Russell and is set in Liverpool and Greece. It tells the story of a middle aged women who is sadly reflecting on her life as the bored and fed up housewife, and the various opportunities she let go when she was growing up as a teenager in Liverpool. It is mainly about how Shirley feels about her life and how she feels about her married life, how it is so boring and monotonous. We see in flashbacks what her life was like before marriage and at the start of marriage. She had a dream to travel around the world as an airhostess and so she regrets giving up her education. Later as she gets the bravery she takes her chance to go to Greece and she builds up her self-esteem. She takes the opportunity to go and change her life. In this essay I'm going to write about how Shirley changes in coarse of play and how the structure shows the importance of these changes. Shirley was a very lonely women, I noticed that as soon as I read the first page... "Hello wall", this showed me that she didn't have any one around her to talk to or no one to turn to; Shirley was alone. I think that was an important line to start the play with because it gave me a hint about Shirley's life, it also kept me in suspense about what the play is going to be about. In the opening of the play she was just talking, talking to the wall and the camera... "There's a women three doors down. Talks to her microwave", she was trying to say there is nothing wrong talking to a wall even if it isn't alive. ...read more.


To make more dramatic monologue Willy Russell created flashbacks, voiceovers and Shirley speaking to the camera. This enabled the audience to be more involved in Shirley's life and be more understanding. The way Willy Russell has structured the play has gave the audience an extended understanding of the changes in Shirley's life by using flashbacks, so we can look back on her past. The play is organized into flashbacks so we can look back at Shirley's past, which is when she was a teenager and when she just got married. This way the audience has a chance to see the changes in Shirley's life from before to now. Shirley and Joe's marriage; the strength of it has been dropping rapidly. We are able to see this in flashbacks from Shirley in her twenties, thirties and up to present. Her marriage has gradually fallen apart, also we can see her self-esteem had decreased. In flashbacks we are able to see the days in 1965 when Shirley and Joe just got married... "Aren't we the darin' young things getting in the bath together? Does this mean where perverted?". This quote made me see they had a lot of love for each other then. It certainly made me realise that Shirley wasn't lonely then. They were always joking around in those days and laughing together which showed me there was a lot of love between them. Also Joe was very respectful, caring and loving with Shirley... "I love you...Shirley Valentine". He made Shirley happy by telling her he loved her. Also I noticed they probably had just got married because he called Shirley Valentine instead of Shirley Bradshaw. Those were the days when he cared about her it has changed a lot now... "What's goin on here, who the bloody hell you talking to?". Shirley was talking to the wall and Joe walked in and talked to her rudely just after the flashback of the good times. ...read more.


"I've pictured myself sitting here drinking". Costas was polite and asked Shirley if she wants to come around the island... "So... eh tomorrow you want come weez me?" Shirley was a bit scared... "No, no, no really... I mean... I don't think I should because..." She was feeling guilty as she left Joe at home. Costas really liked Shirley and her personality he wanted to..."Of course I want to make foak with you. You beautiful women". Shirley decided to go really deep inside she really liked him. Shirley really enjoyed Costas's company... "You really know how to talk to a women don't you? I think she was falling in love with Costas. After a bit of a romance scene took place, Costas makes love to Shirley. Willy Russell created a good dramatic scene he created waves moving fast, and the boat shaking a lot and also the flag was flying. Which showed it was humorous and fun not like it was serious. Costas made Shirley feel good unlike Joe... "Be proud, show em- these marks show your alive, marks of your life". That is why she enjoyed his company. Shirley changed a lot in Greece and she felt good and proud about herself. I think it's funny how your self-esteem increased as soon as she left Liverpool. Since Shirley has gone to Greece she has changed a lot she has gone through a 'Change of Life'. At the end of the play Shirley briefly tells Joe the change of life she has gone through... "Hello. I used to be a mother. I used to be the wife. But now I'm Shirley Valentine", I think Joe understood what she was saying. I don't think their relationship is going to change because Shirley is enjoying the single, free Shirley Valentine. But they will still remember the good times. Shirley has changed a lot as a person, she is more self aware, she has got her confidence and self esteem back and is enjoying her independent life and I don't think she'll let anyone ruin what she has got. ...read more.

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