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Shirley Valentine

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Introduction

SHIRLEY VALENTINE HOW DO THE DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES USED IN THE PLAY HELP THE AUDIENCE TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SHIRLEY'S TRANSFORMATION? The play, 'Shirley Valentine', written by Willy Russell tells the story of Shirley Valentine's life, showing her character transformation from Shirley Bradshaw to Shirley Valentine, it is a play about a stifled middle-aged woman who finds relief abroad from her tedious, routine lifestyle in Liverpool. The dramatic techniques used by Will Russell in the play help the audience comprehend the importance of Shirley's transformation. In this circumstance, it's Shirley Valentine and her life. Other dramatic devices used are, voice over, flashbacks, dramatic monologue, pathetic fallacy as well as others. These devices help us to understand Shirley's character and with this it easier to understand how Shirley has changed Willy Russell's authorial context is seen through the character of 'Shirley Valentine' and his past experiences of him growing up in a feminine household has influenced this play by being the basis of Shirley's aspects on life. The social historical context is also from Russell, Russell coming from a working class background and him being born in Liverpool which is where half the play was set. He started of as a hairdresser and from here he got an insight into womens life .He started to attend night class on drama and this is where he picked up his love for script writing. After this he began to write comical songs and then he began to write scripts. ...read more.

Middle

It is because of this when she received her awful report and found out that she had failed all of her subjects, she just tore the report into pieces and replied with the disrespectful yet witty comment 'Well, tickle my tits till Friday!' (pg.28). By Shirley replying this way it shows us her insouciant attitude, as well as her intelligence as she is able to resort with sarcastic humour. As an adult she shows only small amounts of assertiveness she expressed as a teenager. Willy Russell uses voiceover to tell us of what she really is contemplating and not what comes out of her mouth. "I'm not sayin' she's a bragger- but if you've been to paradise, she's got a season ticket." and "if you've got a headache... she's got a brain tumour." (pg.3) I think Willy Russell uses voiceovers to represent that Shirley Valentine has still got a little teenage rebel personality in her. But she doesn't express her felling publicly like she used too, she keeps to herself because she lacks self confidence. Encounters with minor characters establish Shirley's character and reveals changes she has gone through. In this play many minor characters are used to build Shirley's character. Characters such as Millandra show that Shirley is a typical stereotyped house. 'Mother, do us a favour and bring up the telly upstairs for us, will you' (pg 43). But when she is Greece we see elements of the rebel she was in high school. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shirley Valentine in Greece starts to get back to her old self, she tastes the freedom and she knows she can regain her old self again. At the end of the play, Shirley has changed her view of life and she has altered her mood to be a more positive and relaxed person. The audience have now witnessed Shirley Valentine's character development throughout the whole play with the aid of dramatic devices used by Willy Russell. Shirley Valentine at the end of the play has built up confidence and the ability to stand up for herself, for example when Joe travels all the way to Greece to collect Shirley Valentine, even though he absolutely detests traveling. This goes to show that after Joe has contemplated about Shirley Valentine and himself, he arrives at the conclusion that he was in the wrong. Joe goes to meet her, to try and bring her back home. But this time they talk in a civilised manner, and Joe treats Shirley Valentine with respect, "Would you like to join me for a drink?" (pg.89) says Shirley, "Er... thanks," (pg.89) replies Joe. So the couple have come to respect each other in the end. In this play there is a big change in Shirley's character. She is not the tedious housewife who had no life. She is now Shirley Valentine. 'I used to be a mother. I used to be a wife. But now I'm Shirley Valentine again' (pg.89). Shirley herself knows she has changed and she is happy with who is she is now and would not consider changing. Rizwan Chaudhry 10R ...read more.

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