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Shirley valentin

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No-one thought she had the nerve, the courage or the lingerie. Does this accurately reflect the character of Shirley Valentine? The play Shirley Valentine is written by Willy Russell and it is about her path to self-discovery. Shirley Bradshaw, who was known as Shirley Valentine, is a bored middle-aged housewife living in Liverpool in a small semi-detached house. Shirley who lives with her husband Joe is now in her early forties, with her children having now left her, she feels unhappy and unfulfilled. By the end of the play we see Shirley has changed and she is no longer bore, that her life is full of excitement as she has gone to Greece and met a man. All throughout the play we see Willy Russell use different dramatic techniques. At the start we see her talking to herself, to us the audience. He does this to show us what Shirley is thinking and feeling, which is that she is very lonely even though she has a husband. At the beginning of the play we see Shirley first talk; we see her talking to the wall, "Hello Wall". ...read more.


When she met she thought that she was just going to rub it in that she had done better than her in life, "Well Marjorie, you've waited a long time for your revenge but you've got me now good style now haven't y'? As she is thinking this it shows the audience that Shirley is always waiting for someone to bring her down. Just like when Shirley was at school, her headmaster use to ask the full school in an assembly questions for points, the teacher once said, "What is mans greatest invention." As Shirley is young she was full of confidence, so she put her hand up as no-one else knew the answer, the teacher was the person who brought her down the most, on that day the teacher said, "Oh put your hand down Shirley, you won't know the answer." The author writes these as they compare to make the audience feel very sorry for Shirley because they know that she does try but people always bring her back down. Another incident that compares is where the playwright shows that as Shirley is always brought down, she shouldn't be and she should believe in her self. ...read more.


Greece is another thing that the author uses to symbolise rules, he does this by showing us that Shirley is not allowed to go to Greece because of her husband but she still goes and has the time of her life. In Greece Shirley meets a man called Costas, she does not love Costas, she loves the fact that he makes her feel free and as Shirley valentine. In a part of the scene Shirley and Costas are with each other in the bedroom and Costas kisses her stretch marks, the author makes this significant because Shirley doesn't see them as stretch marks, she see them as scares which are saying that she is a mother and nothing else, but Costas doesn't see that he sees them as part of her and that they are beautiful. The playwright did this because this shows the audience that Shirley is loved and this would make them feel reassured that Shirley has now changed from being Shirley Bradshaw back to her old self as Shirley Valentine even though she is still married and goes back to her husband at the end of the play.. Antony Shawcross 11YP English ...read more.

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    Although Jane is supposed to represent feminism gone wrong in the play, we could also work out Willy Russell thoughts on feminism. However Russell isn't against feminists as he sympathises with Shirley. The title sequence and opening scenes help to establish Shirley's character as a weighed down, lonely housewife trapped in the life of domestic labour.

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