Hare uses juxtaposition throughout Murmuring Judges to show the seemingly inherent differences in class between the lawyers and the prisoners

Authors Avatar by heatherelizamgmailcom (student)

Discuss how Hare presents ideas about class in this scene and at least one other point in the play.

Within Hare’s play Murmuring Judges, there almost appears to be two class systems. The first is the standard upper, middle and lower, however, Hare almost separates the prisoners, the police and the lawyers as three separate classes of people, who each look down on the class below them. This allows us to see not only the perceived separations of social classes but also the classes that you are put into according to you profession and the classist attitudes held by those above.

In the focus scene, Hare clearly shows his views about class through implications and connotations used in the lawyers and judges conversations. Immediately as the scene starts, “His Excellency AL Hadji Sulay Ibrahim Dunko” is announced by the toast master. Whereas within the perceived lower class of the police, DC Abdul Khan is referred to as Jimmy, here he is announced with his full name and title, which immediately suggests a difference in class and status between the two men. This is also clearly shown in the language used by all the characters in this scene, as phrases such as “Grand Days” and “the fishy stuff” in reference to caviar creates a semantic field which suggests the men view themselves and believe they are viewed by others as upper class. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of the Toast Master and Gerard at the opening of Act 2 clearly demonstrates the social classes, as we see the announcement of important men next to a man monologuing within his prison cell.

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 Hare uses food in the focus scene to reflect the upper class nature of the men. As previously referenced, Cuddeford calls caviar “the fishy stuff”, suggesting his familiarity with highly expensive foods, which subtly exposes his class. Again, the “Roast Venison Baden-Baden” also shows the dinner to be sophisticated and the suggestion that “[the students] have to eat their way through twenty four dinners” reveals the recklessness of the system in terms of man, which clearly suggests there is money to be thrown around. Hare also uses food in other moments in the play reflect the lower classes of the ...

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