• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Willy Russell create dramatic tension and humour in the opening of Educating Rita?

Extracts from this document...


How does Willy Russell create dramatic tension and humour in the opening of Educating Rita? Educating Rita is a play that was written in 1985 by Willy Russell. A theme that is focused on in the play is personal relationships. The two main characters, Frank and Rita, influence each other. Rita develops during the course of the play from a brash woman who knows nothing about literature to a lady that has a high knowledge of the subject. Frank, however, does not develop as much. The only progress he makes is down hill. The play opens in Franks book lined study in a University situated in Northern England. Frank is revealed on the telephone to his wife. The study is noticeably untidy. The place has a tatty, shabby feel to it and it becomes clear that Frank has not looked at many of his books for years. This shows that his restlessness and discomfort with his position in life. ...read more.


We can tell that she is different from the moment we hear this continuous knocking. She seems to burst in unexpectedly and immediately looks out of place. The audience certainly would not expect to see a loud, strident character enter at that moment. She curses about the door handle and soon makes herself at home, dumping her bag on the nearest chair. Rita is a twenty six year old hairdresser who has decided to undertake a literature course at a university. She is noticeably uneducated. This is evidenced when she says in relation to swearing, "The educated classes know its only word don't they? I do it to shock them sometimes." On the subject of an alcoholic drink she also says, "Y' wanna be careful with that stuff, it kills y' brain cells" which shows that she is a determined, strong-minded lady who sensibly knows what is best for her. She is in addition very lively and amusing. This is demonstrated when she salutes and jokily says to Frank, "On my oath as an ex-Brownie." ...read more.


Rita and Franks relationship differ from most teacher and student relationships. Rita is not a full time student unlike most and she has a life out of college. She varies from most students as she is older and has a capacity to disrespect Frank. Bizarrely Rita seems to educate Frank as much as Frank educates her. There are clues at the start of the play that show that Frank and Rita's relationship is going to develop. Rita reminds Frank that some people actually enjoy reading and are not all pretentious students who claim they like literature and are experts on the subject. She makes a complete difference to Frank's life and gives him a much-needed breath of fresh air. Rita helps Frank to see there is value to his life. Frank tries to make Rita see that she does not need to act and speak like other students. Both Frank and Rita challenge each other during the scene. The audience may be left wondering if Rita and Frank are going to get together during the scene or feeling that Frank may change mentally. James Noton 11G ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Educating Rita section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Educating Rita essays

  1. How does Russell reveal to the audience the change in Rita's character? 'Educating Rita' ...

    Rita:" He thinks we have a choice already, choice between Everton an' Liverpool, choosing which washing powder... I told him I'd only have a baby when I have choice, but he doesn't understand." (Act 1, Scene 5) From this we can see that she has a logical way of thinking

  2. Educating Rita by Willy Russell

    However she has a like to him and manages to make him be her tutor saying "I don't want another tutor". So he eventually agrees to it which shows is can be quite a push over. At the start of Act 1 scene 1 he has a phone conversation with

  1. Read the opening of the play. In what ways is this a good introduction ...

    "Oh God, why did I take this on? Yes I suppose I did take it on to pay for the drink..." This shows no determination in his life on behalf of his profession, as he doesn't do his job for the love of teaching others; it's simply for his drinks.

  2. In what way is this scene, Act 1, Scene 1, a good introduction to ...

    "RITA: Have you read this stuff?.... FRANK: Every last syllable." Page 21 When a person exclaims that they have read "Every last syllable" of a book, they mean that they have enjoyed reading it and have read it thoroughly. When he speaks, he frequently makes sarcastic comments.

  1. Educating Rita- How Does Russell Make The Opening Dramatic and Entertaining?

    But Frank is also bored and trapped, he goes to the pub a lot to cover up for his unhappiness, Rita also wants to change some of Frank. Russell is trying to point out that Rita is trapped in her social class, she wanted to succeed in school and be

  2. "If you want to make them listen, make them laugh" - What does Willy ...

    and that educated people are well spoken and do not always understand the lower classes. When Rita picks up "Howards End" she thinks it sounds "filthy". This is funny because it is a great work of literature and that is what Rita is supposed to be studying on her course in the OU.

  1. How does Russell use the opening scene to prepare the audience for the rest ...

    The bookcase provides a barrier between Frank's different lives. The books symbolise his educated life, the University and literature. Whereas the hidden drink symbolises Frank's world, where he drinks and uses scapegoats for his problems. We can see this when he blames the eggs and literature for the collapse of his marriage. This idea applies to Frank and Trish.

  2. Educating Rita- How Does Russell Make The Opening Dramatic and Entertaining?

    Then we learn how Frank is isolated. When Rita arrives for her tutorial. The door to Franks office is damaged and makes it very hard for anyone to get in, hence isolated Rita's entrance in the scene is a critical moment. She knocks twice on the door although Frank yells at her to come in.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work