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Shirley Valentine

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Shirley Valentine It is a fairly common prediction that everyone in our society goes through what is called a "midlife crises". A time of re-evaluation of the life one has led and a rebellion or abrupt change in life. To compensate for the banality of one's existence one takes a divergent step out of their paradigm and try something new in order to recapture their fleeting youth. We have been given two versions of this idea from a male and female perspective in two different movies. ...read more.


"Shirley Valentine" provides us with a comedic look into the main character's life as she takes the frightening step out of the life that she allowed herself to fall into. These two movies stress essentially the same point though they work from opposite ends of the spectrum to achieve the goal of entertaining you while you are reacquainted with the beauty of life. We are given main characters in each of the movies that find themselves in lives that they are not fulfilled by and that do not hold to their young aspirations for life. ...read more.


Where as in their youth they gazed into oblivion with possibility and potential. Aristotelian potentiality and actuality, in a manner of speaking, in you will. They capitalize on what they see as their last chance to step out of their lives and actualize differently then have thus far. We are exposed to each character's dilemma in two different emotional modes. "American Beauty" is decidedly dark, depressed, critical, and seemingly more socially connoted while "Shirley Valentine" is lighter in depressive atmosphere and it tells its story in much more comedic ways. "Shirley" is less socially critical and concentrates solely the life of the main character. ...read more.

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Related GCSE Shirley Valentine essays

  1. Shirley Valentine

    For example 'I said to her this morning' this reflects Shirley's relationship with Joe, It furthermore reinforces her desire to change for the reason that these are constant reminders of Shirley's relationship with Joe. Dramatic monologue used in the play engages the audience in the development of Shirley's character.

  2. Shirley Valentine. How does Russell invite the audience to sympathise with Shirley?

    Voiceovers is another dramatic device used in the play, voiceovers allow the audience to hear the story form Shirley's point of view. When Shirley used voiceovers at the beginning of the play this how she communicated her emotions as she no longer speaks her mind, as she has no confidence.

  1. shirley valentine

    The language used in 'Shirley Valentine' is also a way that Russell invites us to unify with Shirley. The style in which she speaks in is very informal this is so the audience can feel on a level with Shirley and not think of it as just a screen play

  2. Shirley Valentine-how does Russel encourage the audience to feel sympathy for Shirley?

    a bright young girl who has vast amounts of self-belief and ability within her, gradually are diminishing away from her very eyes. We can see how people around Shirley treat her differently throughout the play. The treatment Shirley receives from Joe is absolutely disgraceful.

  1. Shirley Valentine

    This is from school and it is from her anger towards the holidaymakers. The minor characters show the humour in Shirley. The humour side also reveals Shirley's thoughts as well as the laughter. The encounters in Greece show that Shirley is becoming more confident and more like she used to be.

  2. Shirley Valentine

    Willy Russell has used pictures such as Shirley Valentine doing the gardening, hanging up the washing and washing up the dishes. Also, not once did Willy Russell screen a picture of her not doing a household chore, moreover, this is further reflected by the use of contrasting colours, which expresses the mood.

  1. Shirley Valentine - How do the dramatic techniques used in the play help the ...

    for women sex was not equally pleasurable and her daughter seems to know much more about these kind of things. Shirley's daughter Millandra shows disrespect and unpatient to her. In the 1965 flash back it shows Shirley having good time with her husband Joe.

  2. Shirley Valentine

    The title sequence and opening scenes help to establish Shirley's character as dreary, boring, routine and stereotypical by using visual images, sound and editing. The images at the beginning convey information in relation to Shirley's life and what she does.

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