Re-read Act 1 Scene 7 of Murmuring Judges. Discuss the effects of Hare's use of dramatic techniques and stagecraft in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

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Re-read Act 1 Scene 7 of ‘Murmuring Judges’. Discuss the effects of Hare's use of dramatic techniques and stagecraft in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

        In Act 1 Scene 7 of ‘Murmuring Judges, David Hare uses dramatic techniques in a multitude of ways with varying effect on the audience, predominantly to communicate social messages.

        At the beginning of the scene, Gerard is isolated by the departure of characters and changes in lighting. The fact that “the lights on stage change in silence” symbolises Gerard’s subsequent inauspicious future, because it is as though he is being condemned by the lack of light, and therefore lack of hope. Consequently, the audience perceives Gerard’s plight and sympathises with his solitary, hopeless status. The stage directions dictate that Barry is in “exactly the same position,” with work “overflowing in front of him.” Hare’s intended effect is to convey to the audience the excessive bureaucracy faced by the police, which they are receptive to because it is a visually salient feature of Barry’s section of the scene. He is likewise isolated due to that the police station is “empty”, communicating to the audience his marginalisation from the rest of the police force because of his corrupt methods and attitudes. The audience grows sympathy for him as a result, because, although he uses unorthodox and illicit ways of solving crime (namely the planting of “Semtex”), he actually succeeds in doing so, whereas other members of the police force tend to enjoy less success. More astute members of the audience will take this into account and thus be more inclined to have some pity for him.

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        Similarly, in Act 1 Scene 1, lighting and staging are both used in synergy to achieve the effect of isolation of characters, a technique evidently common in the play. For instance, the sudden entrance of the lawyers, “Then suddenly from nowhere they’re all there – the judge, the jury…” presents them as formidable and majestic hence, in contrast Gerard appears feeble and powerless. Furthermore, Gerard’s being “conspicuously the youngest” builds upon his isolation, portraying him as a naive, somewhat innocent victim of society, therefore inducing sympathy for him from the audience from the very beginning (which is subsequently augmented in ...

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