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

"Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff - A dramatic analysis of Act three, Scene one, showing how R.C Sherriff brings the raid to life and conveys the horror of war, despite the limitations of the stage.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff: A dramatic analysis of Act three, Scene one, showing how R.C Sherriff brings the raid to life and conveys the horror of war, despite the limitations of the stage. The author of the play R.C Sherriff, was an officer in the First World War. The play is based upon his real life experiences. He wrote several other plays, but it is for "Journey's End" that he is best remembered. The play shows the horrific conditions in the trenches. It also shows the class divide between the officers and the men. The scene is set in a dugout in the British trenches before St. Quentin. It is the 20th March 1918. Seven months before the end of the First World War. The dugout is bare and gloomy with make shift seats, a bed and a large table. The walls are of bare earth with a few pictures of girls pinned to them. There are candles burning and faint sound of the war. The front line is only fifty yards away. Act three, scene one, begins with Stanhope, the commanding officer, pacing up and down. It is dusk and a glow from the setting sun focuses the audience's attention solely on him. His mood is agitated and anxious. Two officers, Osbourne and Raleigh and ten other men are to go over the top of the trench to find out what is happening on the German's front line. ...read more.

Middle

They decide to have one last look at the map and go through their final plans. Suddenly Raleigh loses his courage. He says, "Oh Lord, I can't." Osbourne states, "You must!" Raleigh reverts to his public school outlook. He shows his youth and inexperience, "How topping if we both get the M.C.!" The conversation continues in a meaningless way. Osbourne trying to keep the conversation away from the raid, but Raleigh wants to talk about it. He is starting to think about how badly the Boche will shell them as they cross no-mans land. Osbourne starts to quote poetry to take Raleigh's mind off things. Osbourne shows how much more mature he is than Raleigh in this scene. They touch on thoughts of home, places they both know. They make a tentative plans to visit each other after the war, each describing places they know and love. The time passes slowly. Osbourne looks at his watch. Two minutes to go. Raleigh notices Osbourne's ring on the table. The lighting at this point should pick out Raleigh as he realises that Osbourne does not really expect to return. There is an uncomfortable silence. Osbourne then tries to prepare himself. They hang a lanyard round their necks to hold their revolvers. The feel of the weapon gives them a sense of security. They put on their helmets. Osbourne looks back at his still lighted pipe with reluctance. ...read more.

Conclusion

He answers the colonel's question with another question. Stanhope then informs the colonel of Osbourne's death. The colonel says, "I'm very sorry, poor Osbourne!" Stanhope then replies, "Still, it'll be awfully nice if the Brigadiers pleased." Stanhope and the colonel are uneasy with each other. Raleigh comes slowly down the steps, walking as if he were asleep. The colonel turns to the boy with enthusiasm, "Well done, my boy. I'll get you a military cross for this! Splendid!" it is almost as if the colonel is trying to forget about Osbourne already. The youth factor of Raleigh is portrayed again in this part of the play. He is always referred to as 'boy'. Raleigh went over the top a na�ve schoolboy and he came back a disillusioned man. Raleigh sits on the edge of Osbourne's bed, just like he's on automatic pilot. There is a silence in the trench outside. This could be a silence for no more raid, no more Osbourne. It is a respectful silence. This silence also builds up the tension and suspense. There is a dominant sense of loss in the room. Stanhope sits staring at the table where Osbourne left his watch and ring. Stanhope and Raleigh's eyes meet. Stanhope speaks, his voice expressionless and dead, "Must you sit on Osbourne's bed?" Stanhope has lost a good friend, the person he used to trust. His confidant. Raleigh, in his solitary position, rises unsteadily and murmurs, "Sorry." The scene finishes with the stage directions, "Heavy guns are booming miles away." This emphasises the fact that the war is happening wider than this. Everything still happens. ...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 RC Sheriff 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 RC Sheriff essays

  1. Act one of Journey's End.

    complains about absolutely everything, most of all his constant "neuralgia", which he keeps bothering Stanhope to let him go to the doctor, so that he can be sent home, but Stanhope's loyalty to his position as leader and his job kick in and he stops Hibbert from going to the

  2. Journeys End Coursework. How does R.C. Sherriff create sympathy for Raleigh from the ...

    After that Raleigh says, "he caught some chaps with a bottle of whisky. Lord! The roof nearly blew off!" It's ironic how Raleigh looked up to Stanhope when he was healthy, but now he's someone that's regularly drunk. He thought of Stanhope, and still did at that time, as a hero, someone to look up for.

  1. Journey's End - How do the key scenes present a dramatic demonstration of R.C ...

    Initially the Colonel doesn't realize who didn't make it, until he works it out that Osborne is dead and then he understands why Stanhope is so frustrated. He offers an immediate but useless apology to Stanhope who is still very upset after losing one of his most dedicated men, a

  2. Write about the presentation of Stanhope's relationship with Raleigh in Act Two Scene One, ...

    But Stanhope couldn't bring himself to do it, so Osbourne offers to read it for him. Stanhope agrees so he must trust Osbourne a lot to let him do that. Osbourne reads the letter, and so Stanhope finds out that the letter is the complete opposite and is full or praise about him.

  1. Journey's End: R.C Sherriff uses the characters in his play Journey's End to create ...

    From that you can determine that Hardy thinks Stanhope is a drunk and that he is a joke to the company, whereas Osborne tries to be loyal to Stanhope by protecting him from Hardy's verbal abuse. In scene two, the relationship between Osborne and Raleigh help us to understand more about Stanhope and why Osborne is so protective of him.

  2. How effectively does Sherriff convey life in the trenches?

    so little to talk about which they can all relate to without bringing up the subject of the war. Something which becomes apparent in 'Journey's End' is the distance between the upper ranks and the soldiers in the front line.

  1. Journey's End

    (He points into the moonlit trench). Mason: I'm - I'm very sorry, sir. Stanhope: Send one of the signallers. Mason: Yes, sir. He is a stressed character who does what he is told because he is in fright of having to return to the front line with his platoon.

  2. Write an analysis of R. C. Sherriffs presentation of soldiers under stress in the ...

    Sherriff draws on his own experience when presenting how the officers in "Journey's End" deal with stress in the trenches. He shows how many officers coped with the stress by drinking heavily. Stanhope represents these officers in "Journey's End" because within the first few pages we find out that he

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