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GCSE: Brian Friel

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 2
  1. Peer reviewed

    Characters in the play Translations.

    5 star(s)

    However as the play precedes the audiences sees Sarah's developing individuality through her gestures, dress and actions. The name Sarah, maybe deliberately chose by Friel, refers to the Hebrew Sarah - mother of the nation, in this play's case the nation being Ireland. She is not just a mute village folk but also a representation of Ireland as a silenced voice, as it is a nation that does not speak the language of the colonisers. 'You were lovely last night, Sarah is that the dress you got from Boston, Green suits you."

    • Word count: 711
  2. Peer reviewed

    Account for the popularity of the play 'Translations' by Brian Friel.

    3 star(s)

    These political troubles echoed those of Irelands past when the divide between the protestant landlords and the Catholics who worked the land and were heavily taxed, like the occupants of Baile Beag in 1833, for this reason the play would have been of interest to audiences in the 1980's as a historic background to the current events. But the play was not historically correct although it was based loosely around historic fact there were major deviances for which the play was criticised.

    • Word count: 511

    This is clearly visible when both O'Donnell and Archbishop Lombard both contest for his attention when they visited. Both of them seemed to try to make it look like O'Neill taking sides with either of them was good for Ireland. In this case he was being projected by Brian Friel as the prominent Irish figure. There is also the part where he's portrayed as confused and distorted between the two cultures. His culture conflict is highlighted in Act 1 pg 34 when he shows how shaky his belief is about the 'overall thing'. It showed the side of O'Neill that still had a soft spot for the English.

    • Word count: 811
  4. Philadelphia here I come

    Even more painful for Gar, and a possible contributory factor for the bad relationship he has with his father, is the underlying fear that S.B. may not actually be his real father. Gar has his suspicions that his old teacher, Mr. Boyle, is in fact his real father. This fear stems from the knowledge that his mother and he used to have a relationship. When he enquires to Madge the housekeeper about Mr. Boyle and his mother she provides no comfort saying, "she went with a dozen - that was the kind of her - she couldn't help herself."

    • Word count: 1462
  5. Explore how effectively the first six pages of 'making history' prepare the audience for an understanding of the character of O'Neill. To the audience the opening scenes, portray different sides of O'Neill's persona

    we see how seriously he has taken his role, for example when talking to Mabel he says 'I have spent my life trying to do two things.... Holding together a harassed and confused people...maintaining a life of dignity.' This is an insight into O'Neill as a person he not only has do deal with politics but his personal life and juggling both is a difficult task. However O'Neill must not only deal with the politics of Ireland but also of Europe.

    • Word count: 1037
  6. What is the importance of Harry Hoveden

    Harry is presented as a very loyal and sober character by, he serves to balance out some of the other characters almost like a buffer. His calm nature in times of distress or excitement contrasts with the brash and aloof persona's of other characters like O'Neill. As well as stabilizing the mood in the play as presented, if the play was reality, he would act as a soothing and calming presence to help particularly O'Neill. There is a direct link to his calmness and soothing nature in the comparison of him to dill.

    • Word count: 535
  7. In Act One Mabel says 'I don't really understand the overall thing'. What contribution does she make to this 'overall thing' and do you think O'Neill is right in insisting that she has a central part in Lombard's history?

    had ever known, this in itself is quite an accomplishment because, as Earl Of Tyronne O'Neill has a wide social circle and knows many people. For Mabel to have led such a key role in O'Neill's life despite her upbringing it much show her prestige in O'Neill's mind. The single fact that when Lombard mentions his history O'Neill is mainly concerned with 'how Mabel will be portrayed' shows her importance; after all the troubles have come to such a tragic end and O'Neill appears ruined, it is clear that Mabel was of great significance to O'Neill and therefore did contribute to 'the overall thing'.

    • Word count: 1602

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