How Does Sheriff Create Tension in Act 2 in Journeys End?

Topics: English-language films, Emotion, Theatre Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: December 5, 2012
How does Sheriff build tension in Act 2? Jodie Horton Sheriff creates a lot of tension in Act 2 in many different ways. He uses structure as a way to create tension including, stage directions, setting/staging and characters actions. Tension is initially built in scene 1 by the use of Sheriffs structure, the men are waiting in the trenches for six days with nothing to do, to the audience the real boredom of the trenches and the men would be exposed. The men talk about everyday things such as the bacon they are eating for breakfast “look down straight on it from above, sir, you can see the bit o’ lean quite clear.”pg37 The start of the scene is boring but light hearted, it shows how the men have a sense of family between them, struggling to create a normality of everyday life. But however the structure and mood changes later on in the scene when Stanhope asks to censor Raleigh’s letter. “D’you understand an order? Give me that letter!”pg 48. The structure of this scene creates a lot of tension, because the audience will be calm and peacefully watching the men go about their daily life’s but then the scene abruptly changes into Stanhope’s actions of fury. It would be unexpected and shock the audience, creating tension and awkwardness. Sheriff also creates key tension in the plays stage directions, which would be seen on stage. During scene 1 when Stanhope kicks off about Raleigh’s letter Sheriff uses stage directions to intensify the tension. She uses words such as ‘stammering’ ‘nervously’ ‘astonished’ ‘trembling’ and ‘shouting’ before the lines of the characters. This gives a real sense of the emotions of the characters as in a play it is hard to show the thoughts of characters so this has to be done through action. These actions create tension as it shows the conflict between Stanhope and Raleigh, and Raleigh being intimidated by Stanhope, which would be obvious to the audience through Raleigh’s stammering and nervousness. Also the staging...
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