Discuss the Dramatic Function of 3 Separate Comedy Scenes in the History Boys.

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  • Topic: Alan Bennett, The History Boys, Richard Griffiths
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History Boys
Discuss the dramatic function of 3 separate comedy scenes in The History Boys.

In Alan Bennetts play, The History Boys, dramatic functions need to used in order to be able to bring out the personalities of character and to bring the story forward, as in a play you can not describe as you can in a novel.

One scene in The History Boys where Alan Bennett uses comedy is when during a general studies lesson with Hector he allows the boys to act, in French, as though they were in a brothel this then leads to Dakin with his trousers down, which in normal circumstances would be inappropriate in a classroom. The function of this scene is to show the relationship between the boys and Hector, and how they feel comfortable with each other.

Another is, when Irwin is in the Headmasters office, and the Headmaster is talking of how he could have had the opportunity to go to Oxford, like Irwin, but instead went to Hull to study geography. This is seen as funny because the Headmaster is clearly wanting to make an impression on Irwin, as if he had the opportunity to go to Oxford he would of, and the time the play was set, Geography wasn’t seen as a valued subject. The function of this is to show the headmasters drive to succeed and that he wants Irwin to think highly of him.

Thirdly, the use of lexical field of war terms in the scene where Dakin talks of seducing Fiona also has comedy value, but the dramatic function of this is to show how clever the boys really are and how well they know it that it can just flow easily.

These dramatic function is the play are important because other wise we would not be able to portray the characters as Alan Bennett would like us too.
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