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

Language used in "Journey's End"

Extracts from this document...


Language used in "Journey's End" Journey's End was R.C. Sherriff's only major theatrical production and had had relatively little experience of playwriting before. However, the language in the play does not show any evidence of this. Being set in the trenches in the Great War, and being with a serious, ingrained message, the play needed to be presented to the audience powerfully and effectively. The language needed to show the characters and their language as they would have been had they had actually been in the trenches at the time and make sure that they were as realistic as possible. Sherriff has aimed to relate the characters' speech directly to their character but also to create a powerful picture in the minds of the audience. One of his main aims in the play was to present the public with a play to show the real attitudes during the war. ...read more.


Sherriff also focuses greatly on the actions and movements of each character. He does this to portray the character in the scene exactly as he wants them to be perceived by the audience. This is shown in Act One where Raleigh arrives in the trench for the first time and his uneasy disposition as a newcomer to the dugout is clearly apparent. Sherriff explains: "An officer comes groping down the steps and stands in the candle-light. He looks round, a bit bewildered. He is a well built, healthy looking boy of about eighteen, with the new uniform of a 2nd lieutenant." This is typical of Sherriff's descriptive technique. Whenever an action or character arrives for the first time in the play, we are always informed first of his appearance, then of his expression and manner. R.C. Sherriff has given each character a dialect that suits their personality. Trotter has a less educated or refined dialect that that of Osbourne or Raleigh. ...read more.


I want to strengthen the wire all along the front." This shows Stanhope to be confident in his tone and uninfluenced by any doubts, whereas when in a state of anxiety, he loses this ability, as shown in the same act, only a few lines later: "Osbourne: Lets talk about something else, croquet or the war. Stanhope: (laughing) Sorry! It's a habit that's grown on me lately- to look right through things, and on and on- till I get frightened and stop." Stanhope's language takes on another, completely different form when in anger. All composure and fluency is lost on these occasions and instead his language becomes aggressive and scathing and loses any rationality whatsoever. This is displayed most notably against Hibbert in Act Two and against Raleigh in Act Three. "Stanhope: So you know more about my men then I do? Raleigh: I'm sorry then- if I was wrong. Stanhope: Sit down. Raleigh: It's all right thanks. Stanhope: (shouting) Sit down! The features and personalities of all the characters are described, at least implicitly, and each character ha unique styles of language to complement their personalities. ...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. Journeys End Drama Studies

    Throughout pages 69 to 72, the tension is constant, as the raid is only a few minutes away. There is nothing major to comment upon, but the conversation is very distracting and different to what we would have been expecting. This shows that Osborne is trying to comfort Raleigh's nerves.

  2. 20th Century Drama - Journey's End, R C Sheriff

    At the same time Stanhope puts on a brave front, lifting his physiological shield and tries to convince them that Osborne's safe recovery is guaranteed under fate for 12 months. However the writer changes the more positive atmosphere by riddling this dialogue with pauses.

  1. Journey's End

    of empathy within the audience, because they have already understood Hibbert's troubles. Colonel: Let him have those back, except the pocket-knife. S.-M: Very well, sir (He turns to the GERMAN BOY with a smile.) 'Ere you are, sonny. The GERMAN BOY takes back the oddments Colonel: All right, sergeant-major.

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

    I thought there would be an awful row here - all the time." this give the audience the feeling of the trenches having a eerie silence about them, Osborne amplifies this and gives to how far away from the support line the Germans are "A hundred yards from here the

  1. Techniques and themes used in Journey's End.

    He also has the ability to calm the other characters when they are worried or, in Raleigh's case, too much enthusiasm; for example "You mustn't always think of it like that..." whilst calmly puffing at his pipe. He also manages to cleverly distract Stanhope when he is dwelling too much on the horrors of war.

  2. How effectively does Sherriff portray the reality of war in 'Journey's end'?

    Sheriff transferred his experience into his play, and one of the most descriptive and detailed aspects of 'Journey's End' is the portrayal of the conditions that the men had to tackle in the trenches. The stage directions of the play are our main source of understanding the severe environment during the war.

  1. Consider How Sherriff uses structure & language in the play

    The audience hear about him but don't meet him. This is because the writer wants the audience to build up a picture of him in our minds. We picture him as a drunk, possibly an alcoholic, who wouldn't be a very good officer. Sheriff plays on our ignorance and introduces Stanhope as a superb officer who cares for and values his troops very much.

  2. Journeys End

    This is proved on two occasions. The first is when Osborne asks about the trench stores and calls him "a fussy old man" and pulls out a scruffy piece of paper. The second occasion is when Stanhope comes onto the scene and says that he wants a word with Hardy because of the mess he left the trenches in.

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