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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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Related GCSE Shirley Valentine essays

  1. Shirley Valentine. How does Russell invite the audience to sympathise with Shirley?

    does not have a close friend to express her feelings to that is why she articulates her feelings to an object. Shirley has formed a trusting relationship with the audience and often confides her deepest secrets and feelings. Monologues reveal Shirley's loneliness, but it helps Shirley to see her inner

  2. Shirley Valentine - How does Shirley change in the course of the play, and ...

    The camera direction gives us an open view of people swimming and playing joyfully in the sea. This is effective way to reveal Shirley's more optimistic frame of mind. Her costume exposes her confidence once again, just like the old Shirley Valentine and not Shirley Bradshaw.

  1. How does the dramatic technique used in the play help the audience to understand ...

    It seems Shirley also has a soft feeling for Costas because he asks her to go around the island with him and she agrees. During this trip both Shirley and Costas get into mischief as they get sexually attracted to each other.

  2. Shirley Valentine-how does Russel encourage the audience to feel sympathy for Shirley?

    She got lost in all this unused life." This quote lets us know how she feels lost. It makes us realise how hopeless Shirley feels. Another monologue such as "It's lovely that. It's not too dry ...I'd like to drink a glass of wine ...and watchin' the sun go down".

  1. How do the dramatic techniques use in the play help the audience to understand ...

    The quote, "I think you're marvellous." shows Gillian boosting Shirley's confidence. Gillian makes Shirley feel like how she used to feel at school, marvellous. Shirley looks into the mirror and says, "I'm no longer Shirley Bradshaw - middle-aged housewife, beginnin' to sag a bit - I'm Shirley the Brave, Shirley the Marvellous!

  2. How Shirley changes in coarse of the play, and how the play is organized ...

    Also when she talks to the wall at the start of the play gives the audience an idea, why is she talking to the wall? So by the way Willy Russell has structured the play gives the audience an idea what changes have been going on in her life.

  1. How do the dramatic techniques used in the play help the audience to understand ...

    Russell satirises feminism in the play; he uses Jane as the feminist, Yet Jane proves to be a hypocrite as she flirts with the first man she meets on the flight to Greece and it is Shirley who becomes self-sufficient and a positive role model for women.

  2. How does the writer, Willy Russell encourage us to sympathise with Shirley?

    What's happened to Shirley valentine?" Shirley speaks about herself in 3rd person illustrating that she talks about herself as if she (Shirley Valentine) were another person and how she has fragmented and lost her identity; she no longer knows who she is.

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