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

Brian Clark uses a number of techniques to dramatise the Euthanasia Debate in his play, "Who's Life is it Anyway".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Brian Clark uses a number of techniques to dramatise the Euthanasia Debate in his play, "Who's Life is it Anyway". Euthanasia is the means by which a person has the freedom of choice over whether they live or die. In the play there are two main arguments concerning this issue. One argument saying that a patient has the right to make this decision of life and death and on which disagrees and says the patient should not have this choice. Two characters in the play represent the two central arguments. First of all there is Ken, Ken believes that he should have the right to choose to die, it is his life, he says that his whole life before his accident was sculpture, and now that he cannot sculpt because he is paralysed below his neck, he will never be able to sculpt again: 'I'm almost completely paralysed and always will be. I shall never be discharged by the hospital.' According to Ken his life is already over: 'Of course I want to live but as far as I am concerned, I'm dead already...I cannot accept this condition constitutes life in any real sense at all.' 'Any reasonable definition of life must include the idea of it being self-supporting.' Ken only wants the dignity in death: 'each man must make his own decision. And mine is to die quietly with as much dignity as I can muster'. Ken also argues that he is not asking his lawyer to make a choice over his life or death, just to represent his views to the hospital: 'I'm not asking you to make any decision about my life and death, merely that you represent me and my views to the hospital.' Ken argues that the real matter to be discussed is the indignity at not having a choice in the matter: 'The cruelty doesn't reside in saving someone or allowing them to die. ...read more.

Middle

We see the different opinions voiced through different stages up the medical hierarchy. Next Brian Clark uses lighting to dramatise his play. He can use lighting for many different purposes, he uses lighting to light up different parts of the stage to show different scenes. Ken is the centre of the stage and the light moves around him to different scenes in order to provoke the audience: '(Cross fade on sluice room.)' The lighting also reflects the themes of life and death, for example the lighting can make Ken look very alone in the world at times, with nobody around him, just empty wards. Perhaps the most dramatic display of lighting in the entire play is at the end, when Dr. Scott leaves Ken in his ward, and then the lights, 'snap out'. This represents the absolute finality of Ken's decision and brings to light the seriousness of his decision, he has decided to die. He knows how big a decision this is and once he has decided that it is what he wants he cannot change it. Once Ken has died, he is dead for good. The snapping out of the lights at the end reflect this finality. Brian Clark in a similar way to the medical hierarchy method uses different characters to represent a different view of Ken's predicament. Dr. Emerson as we have previously mentioned thinks Ken's life is precious and should be kept at any cost, no matter what Ken's wishes are. Dr. Scott also wants Ken to stay alive but values Ken's opinion and thoughts more than Dr. Emerson, she thinks ethically. Dr. Travers represents another view on Ken's problem, he sees it the same way as Dr. Emerson, and thinks of it as a mental patient wanting to commit suicide, and is happy to back up Dr. Emerson in a court of law, and also sees it as doing a favour for Dr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Clark has made Ken a sculptor, he has done this deliberately, Ken cannot live without his sculpting and machines cannot help to replace his former passion, he will never be able to do it again, this helps us to understand how and why Ken wants to die so much, he doesn't want his sculpture replaced with reading or anything else, he can't live without his sculpture. The play in the end has the characters and actors and audience emotionally involved. This serves to show us Ken's side of the argument, without this emotional involvement, for example. if the play was shown from the perspective of Dr. Emerson it would be very easy to dismiss Ken's argument and say that he should not be allowed to die full stop. At the end of the play we suddenly realise what Ken has been fighting for, as the lights snap out, we realise the finality of what Ken has done. He has made a rational decision but before that final moment, we do not realise the full impact of what he has been fighting for. He will no longer be there once he has won his case. Ken will cease to exist. This helps us to understand why some people are anti-euthanasia, and what grave consequences it has and why euthanasia is an extreme solution to take. The theatre offers many possibilities of visualising and dramatising this debate, the medical and legal jargon used in the two acts of the play, the physical space of the stage and the lighting in combination, the black comedy of Ken, the exits and entrances of different characters that are used as mouthpieces of different views on the debate. Issues are raised in the play as they could not be in prose. There is a suspension of disbelief, a contract between the playwright and the audience makes sure that the issues are well explored and continue to be in a 30 year-old debate. ?? ?? ?? ?? "How Does Brian Clark Use Theatre to Dramatise the Euthanasia Debate?" Patrick Bateman ...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 Euthanasia 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 Euthanasia essays

  1. My hypothesis: Euthanasia should be legalized in the UK.I am going to answer a ...

    The man killed himself and the prophet said he would burn in the hell fire. Muslims believe Euthanasia is weak and sinful. Buddhism A Buddhist can choose an honourable suicide if they please according to an ancient Asian ideology. However, Buddhists still believe the ending of any life is wrong.

  2. Whose Life Is It Anyway?

    When the judge reaches his decision all the characters respect the ruling. 'Judge: I'm afraid you'll have to release your patient Dr.Emerson: I see.. Thank you' Dr.Emerson seems a bit put out that he is going to have to let a patient die, but he isn't awkward, instead he allows

  1. How does the playwright Brian Clark present the conflict between Ken Harrison and his ...

    This hearing proves that. Will you please listen?' The entire play is a power struggle between Ken and the medical establishment. Ken is visited by Mrs. Boyle, a social worker who tries to help Ken to move on and accept his disability and living a life with the disability. Mrs.

  2. “Whose life is it anyway?” is not just a play about a man who ...

    "...resides in the fact that choice is removed from the man concerned". This statement meaning Ken's request of euthanasia was contradicted and he has limited power over those around him. Examining the hierarchy of society, the control over others in a pyramidal imaginative diagram is situated where positions decide the fate of others.

  1. What are the main issues in the debate about euthanasia.

    are now a lot more older people than there are younger ones. The elderly may, therefore, become confused and request euthanasia motivated from the fact that they miss their youth. A common question also raised in these cases, 'What is there to look forward to?'

  2. “An acceptance of the practice ofvoluntary euthanasia is incompatible with Christian belief in the ...

    Moreover, since she did not die as a result of the treatment discontinuation, but only after more administration of drugs, was there not a dishonesty in claiming that this all fell within the range of legally permissible treatment? Campbell then goes on to write of a premature baby named Zoe

  1. Sanctity Of Life

    God wants people to have quality life. If someone has no quality of life euthanasia might be acceptable. God is love. Stopping suffering is a loving thing to do. So euthanasia could bring more glory to God than keeping a suffering person alive. People have been given freewill people should be able to use this free will to end their own lives.

  2. Whose Life is it Anyway? is about Ken Harrison's determination to decide his own ...

    With only a mind to think and a mouth to speak, Ken cleverly uses them as his weapons. While talking to Dr. Travers he says, "If you're clever and sane enough to put up an invincible case for suicide, it demonstrates you ought not to die".

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