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

Comparison of A Doll's House and A Streetcar Named Desire

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Colin Wick Mrs. Boness IB HL English: Period 4 4/2/10 Prompt #14: "Important characters in plays are multi-dimensional. Discuss to what extent this statement is true of important characters in plays you have studied and comment on the techniques of characterization employed by the playwright." Multidimensional characters can also be defined as dynamic or constantly changing and developing characters. These dynamic characters are not simply important to a play, but are arguably the most important characters because what the playwright intends to communicate to his or her audience is communicated through the changing emotions and behaviors of these characters. Additionally, playwrights use a variety of techniques to highlight the changes an important character may go through. The dialogue, staging and stage directions, setting, music, lighting, and even costumes can all be used to highlight a multifaceted character's emotional and physical changes. In A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, and A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, the playwrights primarily use costumes, which parallel the emotional and behavioral changes of important dynamic characters, and contrast in dialogue to amplify developments and changes in the characters' relationships and behavior. Ibsen's choice of costume design portrays Nora as a dynamic character in A Doll's House. Ibsen changes Nora's costume to parallel her behavioral and emotional changes in the play. ...read more.

Middle

In A Doll's House, Ibsen also utilizes tension in dialogue, specifically the tension between Nora's inward and outward expression of feelings surrounding worth, to portray Nora as a dynamic character. The playwright first creates a contradiction between her internal and external feelings, only to eventually change her apparent expression to match her true feelings. In the first two acts of the play, Nora's outward expression of a woman's worth revolves around being a good wife and mother by aiming to please Helmer, her husband. However, her inward feelings portray the opposite. Nora inwardly believes that worth involves being true to herself. Nora is outwardly submissive to her husband by allowing herself to be called by possessive pet names, such as his "little spendthrift", his "squirrel", or his "extravagant little person" (Ibsen 2-3). Furthermore, even Nora uses these labels for herself during the first two acts. These names put Nora in a submissive position because they define Nora as a possession of Helmer's. Therefore, when Nora labels herself a skylark or squirrel, she outwardly submits to the will of her husband, proving her external idea of worth revolves around his happiness. However, whenever Nora yields to Helmer, there are undertones of sarcasm within the dialogue portrayed both by the stage directions and the writing. ...read more.

Conclusion

The contrast between the dialogue of the two characters and the connection it has with the social group they identify with highlights their dynamic characteristics by emphasizing Blanche's attempt and ultimate failure to integrate herself into the less aristocratic and educated New Orleans. Therefore, the playwright's effort to contrast the dialogues of Blanche and Stanley facilitates Blanche's representation as a multifaceted and changing character in A Streetcar Named Desire. Analyzing how a playwright portrays his or her dynamic characters gives insight into what the playwright intends to say through their development. For example, Henrik Ibsen uses a single costume to connect the audience with Nora's progression into an autonomous woman in order to focus the audience's attention on a single facet of Nora's life and desires, while Williams uses many costumes with varying degrees of lavishness, to highlight the degree to which Blanche blends reality with fantasy. Furthermore, Ibsen uses tension in dialogue of a single character to keep the audience's focus on Nora, while Williams contrasts the speech of two characters to highlight the contrast between two different social worlds, the new and old South. Therefore, the most important characters in a play are always multidimensional characters because most of a playwright's commentary is included in the development of these characters and analyzing the techniques a playwright employs to distinguish a dynamic character helps to convey meaning. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Drama 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 International Baccalaureate Drama essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Symbols employed in "The American Beauty" and their effects

    4 star(s)

    This is manifested in the last fantasy-scene where Lester pulls out a single petal from his mouth after kissing Angela. The fact that the petal comes from his body implicates that he has found the meaning of his life which finalizes the process of rebirth.

  2. Symbolism in "Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

    Though Amanda blames her children alone for relying on false illusions, she too carries this fault. Although it is obvious that the glass menagerie represents Laura because of her frailty, Tom, Amanda, and even Jim are exemplified too. They all concentrate their powers in illusions, only in different ways.

  1. In this portfolio I will take you on the journey which I myself have ...

    As our piece began with a police interview we wished to keep it at a very simplistic level of speech just like that of a real interview. We decided on stage direction so that the interviewer was not visible throughout; leaving the actress playing Ashtiani alone on stage to symbolise how she was alone and not supported when interrogated.

  2. Research Investigation: commedia dell'arte masks. It is believed that the use of mask ...

    [10] Commedia dell'arte masks were useful in the sense that although the the costumes and stage changed in fashion over time, The masks stayed basically the same. In this way the audience could appreciate and recognise the character and still enjoy new ways of the typical story being presented.

  1. Hamlet Act 3 scene 1

    This 'argument' then brings him to the issue with his issue of "being", which was that of not knowing what comes after death, which Hamlet concludes is what all men fear, "thus conscience does make cowards of us all". I said this line with a defeatist tone, lowering my voice

  2. Sin and Ego in Crime and Punishment

    The harsh environment of St. Petersburg reflects Raskolnikov's own callous actions. It is important to consider the setting of the murder, where much of the discussion and action take place indoors. This creates a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere. Also, Gogol's Petersburg Tales refers to Petersburg "as the terrible masquerade of Antichrist" (Gogol 25).

  1. A comparison of Brian Friels Philadelphia, Here I Come & Arthur Millers A View ...

    Stage directions are used as way of allowing playwrights to give direction as to what is supposed to be happening on the stage, and is used to enhance the audience?s experience and involvement in the play. Stage direction is used to great effect by both Arthur Miller and Brian Friel in their plays.

  2. How does an actor use Stanislavskis acting principles, in order to fully prepare to ...

    Emotional memory requires the actor to recreate an event from the distant past in his mind in order to regenerate the ?feelings? of that memory and incident that was experienced at the time. Emphasis on distant because ?Stanislavski felt (at that time)

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