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Imagine you were directing 'An Inspector calls'. How would you portray the character of the inspector?

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Introduction

Nathan Beck 10c Imagine you were directing 'An Inspector calls'. How would you portray the character of the inspector? In the following essay, I intend to describe the different ways in which I would portray the different mannerisms and characteristics of the inspector from a director's point of view throughout different parts in the play. I will look at his effect and how he is affected in different scenarios - such as the contrast between the interrogations of different characters. I will concentrate on how I would portray his character, his mannerisms, speech, posture, facial and body expression, his attire and how he interacts with the other characters. The stage directions would give me as the director a clear idea as to how I should portray the inspector. As well as continual directions in different situations throughout the play, the most important directions concerning the inspectors general character are given at the point in the play at which he enters the Birlings home. For example, the directions explain how 'he need not be a big man but he creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness'. Basically, his physical size does not matter so much as long as the character is portrayed as a powerful, solid, confident, purposeful person who has a large effect on the audience and the family. ...read more.

Middle

There are many examples of how accepting and understanding Sheila is and the contrast between her and Birlings interrogation. One point is how the inspector will not let her take all the blame she puts on herself although neither does he deny that she had been at great fault. Another point is how the inspector doesn't make any cynical comments as he does with Birling which is quite a major difference. The inspector also helps her to understand why she behaved like she did at Millwards - he helps her to confess her crimes. He doesn't need to ask her as many questions as with Birling as her answers are so willing and honest. For example when the inspector asks her, 'was it the girls fault?' she replies with, 'No, not really. It was my own fault etc.' Or how he helps her to confess, 'In fact, in a kind of way, you might be said to have been jealous of her.' Breaking her down in a different and much easier way than with Arthur Birling. I would want the audience to view both interrogations very differently - the main way I could do this would be to have the actor playing the inspector to act very effectively but in very different ways in the two interrogations. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this essay I have described and explained the different ways in which I would have portrayed the character of the inspector and I have also explained how I would use the stage directions wisely as well as my own imagination to help in doing this. What most of the audience probably won't realize is that the inspector is far more than he seems. He is also a 'mouthpiece' for the writer of the play - J.B. Priestly. Priestly has very strong views on socialism, community and responsibility. He expresses these views through the lines of the inspector, without obviously stating it himself. It is a play that is used to show the differences and separation between society and the inspector acts as Priestly - trying to stop these differences. Priestly's strong political views stemmed from the situation at the time when the play was set. There were huge social divisions, 87% of the country's wealth was in the hands of 5% of the population. Many were underfed, lived in poor housing and were poorly clothed. Eva Smith is an example of such a person that both the inspector and Priestly felt should be helped by a more fair and balanced society. 2 ...read more.

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