Display of Authority in Williamson's The Removalists

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Discuss how Authority is presented in Williamson’s play, ‘The Removalists’. Authority is often used interchangeably with the term power. While power refers to the ability to achieve certain ends, authority refers to the legitimacy, justification and right to exercise that power. ‘The Removalists’ is a play in which different types of characters have been endowed with an authority that is in danger of being misused. Williamson has portrayed a misused idea of authority through many techniques. He uses structure as one of the ways to present authority. The structure of this play is simple, because there are only two sets: the police station and Fiona and Kenny’s flat. The themes that are radiated to the audience include: misogyny, violence, masculinity, fear of difference and disrespect for authority and class. Many dialogue exchanges and crude language provide the foundation for these themes. Insults such as, “I hope you’re not going to turn out to be a smart arse Ross. You’ll go for a row of shitcans if you try anything smart with me, boy”, imply a hinting of violence. Other insults such as “It’s just that you’re too bloody lazy. That’s what it is. Bloody slut”, are used for verbal abuse and show an exercising authority of males over females. These insults hurled at each other, suggest an alienated society which is based on fear and violence. “The removalists” is based on interactions between the characters which are physically, verbally or psychologically abusive. The structure of this play is based around the language, which is another technique Williamson has used. The language in ‘the removalists’ has been used as a means of manipulating others, and the way in which it acts as a weapon of considerable violence. Williamson obtains the use of the characters to emphasise the misuse of authority. For example, Simmonds, a selfish, sadistic and dangerous man, uses his authority as a policeman to get away with anything. “Stuff the rule book up your arse. That’s the...
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