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Shirley Valentine

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How does Russell make the audience sympathise with Shirley ? In this essay I will be exploring how Willy Russell, an author of the play "Shirley Valentine", makes us sympathise with his main character. Willy Russell was a hairdresser, who lived in Liverpool. He felt unfulfilled in his life and wanted to become a writer. In his work, he met a lot of women, who shared their stories with him. That made him feel he understood many of them. But he was bored with his profession. Russell's life experience is similar to Shirley's. Just like himself, Shirley is lonely and unfulfilled in her life. She dreamed of going to Greece and sitting alone on the beach. ...read more.


In other words she became a housewife. Because she had nobody to talk, she is a Kitchen sink drama, it is about things around the house. Russel also used characters, dramatic devices and creative language to sympathise the audience with Shirley Valentine. In the opening scene we see first the film title track starts under a blue and white drawing of Shirley Valentine ironing. I think Willy chose the colour blue, because the colour blue suggest sadness and depression. Shirley's life in the play is represent as sadness and depression. After that we see fifteen drawings of Shirley doing domestic works are never ending. None of the drawings show her having fun. ...read more.


We can tell Shirley was happily married at the start, because she had fun with Joe. They was just newly married. "The are happily painting the kitchen". This shows us that she was happy with her life. Joe was Romantic used to make her laugh. He told her that he love's her, "I love you Shirley Valentine". But now he is extremely changed. He is aggressive. This shows where he said he doesn't care what Shirley is doing. That's why Shirley take a decision to go too Greece. There she meet Costas. Costas is the opposite of Joe. He is Romantic and he listening to her, he made her feel warm and tells her how beautifull she is. "They are lovely because they are part of you and you are lovely. Joe never told her how beautifull she is Costas make her feel pretty and young. ...read more.

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