An Ispector Calls

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Jessica Brewer 10.4

An Inspector Calls – “Explore the role of the Inspector, focus on two episodes which create dramatic impact on both the characters and the audience”

‘An Inspector Calls’ is a well made play written by J.B.Priestley in 1945. Based in 1912 the play focuses on the Birling family being visited by Inspector Goole. No one quite knows who or what the inspector is as he has a ghostly sense about him. To the audience he could be a time traveller or a ghost, we never eventually find out, it is left to our imagination and helps to create mystery surrounding the character. The audience are watching the play knowing that it is set many years ago; this gives J.B.Priestley an advantage to use dramatic irony throughout the play, which allows him to make some of the characters look ridiculous. He also uses the Inspector to intimidate the Birling’s with his short answers and powerful tone. His sense of massiveness soon overpowers the arrogant Mr Birling and his right wing ways, and he soon begins to get the answers he arrived for. The Birling’s were celebrating the engagement of both Sheila and Gerald. However, once the Inspector arrives he soon has control of the whole situation making the atmosphere very tense. Mr Birling has a somewhat high status and tries using this to his advantage to intimidate the Inspector, evidently he realises this doesn’t trouble him and notices he has no authority compared to the Inspector.

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‘A sharp ring of the front door bell’ Priestley uses this technique to bring the play to a pause, whilst Mr Birling stops in his tracks to soon question who is at the door. This quickly adds tension to the scene making the characters to panic, in a sense, to wonder who is knocking at such a time. Soon enough both audience and characters come to find it is Inspector Goole. ‘At once he creates an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness’. Priestly uses the way the Inspector is characterised to create impact from the moment he enters. As ...

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