How does Hare convey the changes in Gerard McKinnon 's state of mind during the course of the play?

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How does Hare convey the changes in Gerard’s state of mind during the course of the play?

Gerard McKinnon is the protagonist of Hare’s play. He is at the principal point of the action. He is the character, which draws together various strands of the action in the plot, for example, the barrister, the police, the prison officers and the prisoners. Ultimately, he is the victim of the policing system, which “fitted him up”, the unwilling legal representatives who let him down, the bench, which sentenced him, and the prison service, which fails to protect him.

Hare’s exposition starts dramatically with stage directions. “ Then suddenly from nowhere they’re all there- the judge, the jury, the battery of lawyers.” Hare’s powerfully dramatic opening is used to emphasise the visual impact of the “power” of the court.  Gerard is juxtaposed with the legal system. Hare portrays him as being vulnerable as he is set apart from the other suspect’s Travis and Fielding through the use of lighting. “ But the emphasis is on McKinnon.” The whole company is lit to show the power of the law, and then changing it to concentrate on Gerard in the midst of it all, is delicately done by Hare to represent him as the victim.

Hare uses the dramatic device of a stream of conciseness in order for the audience to gauge his innermost thoughts.  The repetition of the phrase “ Its coming, It’s coming”, shows Gerard’s anticipation for outcome. The long sentences with many caesuras and hyphens breaking them up suggest that his fear is overwhelming him; it also indicates his panic stricken mind. Thus, encouraging the audience to view the bar in a less favourable light. The word “slowly” indicates that Gerard is experiencing disbelief that the verdict is imminent. He contrasts this feeling with the slowness of the court case building up to his moment.

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When Gerard’s soliloquy resumes and he is found to be guilty. He tries to not take responsibility for his actions. Hare illustrates Gerard’s detachment from his crime, with the line, “part of me thought, this is really stupid, I mean I’m not really doing this”. He remarks of the clear distinctiveness of the lawyers and the judiciary, who after the sentencing will go “home to their wives, to wine in fine glasses and the gossip of the bar…” while he, who is “the stuff of their profession” will be locked away in gaol. There is a finality and submissiveness ...

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