How is the Narrator portrayed in Blood Brothers and what is his function?

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Narrator Essay

In Blood Brothers the narrator is a ubiquitous and enigmatic character whose function is to act as a dramatic device to continue the story, foreshadow events and allow the audience to see a projection of the consciousness of some of the characters, particularly Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons. He is only present during sad and intense dramatic points in the play, and therefore brings a grave presence to the play. He brings in the themes of superstition, violence and social class, which are key to the play, but also gives the play a darker side through his link with evil and the devil throughout the play.

        Firstly, the appearance of the Narrator is very important in understanding his character. His outfit of a black shirt is very versatile, allowing him to move in and out of different scenes while remaining anonymous. This may be done to accentuate his mysterious and ghost like atmosphere, adding to his connection with the underworld. However, it could also be said that his attire is similar to that of someone attending a funeral or business meeting, foreshadowing and constantly reminding the audience of the ultimate tragedy and the contractual ‘bargain’ that Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons share.

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        At the start of the play he tells us what is to happen to Mickey and Eddie; how they will die “on the self same day”. The Narrator uses a biblical discourse when speaking here, saying “of one womb born”. This accentuates the grave ending of the play through his almost apocalyptic tone. Russell may use prolepsis in this way to engage the audience using the Narrator always to keep their attention by constantly reminding them of the tragedy, and also creating tension. “…never knowing that they shared one name until the day they died”. He also refers to Mrs ...

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