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Hector and Irwin. Consider: First meeting Ages/time in profession Sexuality Attitude to education Attitude to truth Attitude to Literature Impact on each other Impact on boys Their shared lesson together Symbolism of crash How opposition generates comedy: specific moments.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Consider:

First meeting

Ages/time in profession

Sexuality

Attitude to education

Attitude to truth

Attitude to Literature

Impact on each other

Impact on boys

Their shared lesson together

Symbolism of crash

How opposition generates comedy: specific moments

role of women1
Role of Women

Consider:

Setting of play in all boys’ school. In 1980s.

Dominant opposition of two main male characters

MrsLintott: is she Bennett’s compromise ‘answer’?

MrsLintott:

  • Is she commentator on male folly? But then is she outsider? Powerless? Would audience remember her? What does she add to the comedy?
  • offers insight into women’s place in history (22,84/5)
  • Comments on shallowness of presentation over content (9)
  • Lets us see Headmaster’s pettiness (50,68/9)
  • Explains boys to, and tries to advise, Irwin (42/3)
  • Comments on Hector’s attitudes (23)
  • Tells truth about Hector (95)

Sex as war: sexist humour?

Women as objects: prostitutes, “totty”. Sexual exploitation: by Hector, by Head?

Women ignored: Head’s wife, Rudge “Fridays”

Women as quietly successful: Lintott produces results

Absence of women means men shown for what they are?

Is role ‘tokenistic’? Males in control? Literary quotations mostly male?

slide6

Use French scene: explore how the humour is generated and the serious ideas being explored:

  • Eccentric topic of lesson: inappropriate? Physical: lack of trousers!
  • Timing of arrival
  • Juxtaposition: Hector/Felix
  • Power reversal: Hector/Felix (‘an admonitory finger’). Head submits!
  • Humiliation of head master: struggles: see ellipsis, English word (trousers), correction by Hector. Audience enjoyment as Head has been shown to be unlikeable (selfish, manipulative) prior to this. “Silliness” changes to “not silliness”: slippery?!
  • Boys and Hector cheekily challenge and mock authority. They form a comical team. Boys protect Hector.
  • Boys intelligent and lively (better French than Head: their actions and words: physical theatre)
  • Desperate at times to keep idea going: “tante”. Timms’ ‘front’ in front of Head: “la familleentiere”
  • Unexpected input of Irwin: “ilestcommotione” brings contrast of silence. Tone changes.

Seriousness

  • Head’s character revealed/developed
  • Opposition of results (Felix) and education for life (Hector)
  • Opposition of Hector/Irwin starts to be established
  • Loyalty a key theme (some will switch sides)
  • Inappropriate nature of some of Hector’s teaching. Rudge comment?
  • Sexism?
  • Sex and War
slide7

Sex as war: 22/3

Metaphor humour: “reconnoitered the ground”

Laddish humour: “the big push”.

Scripps “No. Go on.” Humorous contradiction.

Euphemism, preceded by dramatic effect ellipsis: “….the actual place”

Scripps crude outburst: “Shit.”

Formal language of military conflict deflated with crudity “particularly her tits”, after another ellipsis.

Humorous revelation about Felix

Posner’s corrective analysis still humorously continues military metaphor.

Posner’s infatuation and singing of ‘female’ song “Bewitched”

Seriousness

Head’s character: hypocrisy. Will be used at end by Dakin.

Dakin’s character: smart, sexual (predatory to Fiona and Irwin?), cocky (!)

Posner’s torment: sexual, intellectual: he is torn apart by conflict between Hector/Irwin after being dispassionate about Holocaust.

Women as objects.

Play full of lexis of war: seriousness and silliness put side by side.