Examine Sheriff’s presentation of Stanhope in Act One.
In Act One of Sheriff’s ‘Journey’s End’ we see Captain Stanhope presented as a highly respected individual by all members of the rank, who has been affected immensely psychologically by the war.
We see Stanhope being respected throughout Act One, which can be seen in the beginning of the play where we see Osborne reacting in a defensive and protective way of Stanhope, saying that “He’s a long way the best company commander we’ve got” to Hardy on page 4 where we learn of Stanhope’s excessive drinking which makes the audience unsure of Stanhope as a character as Sheriff introduces us to this problem before we have met him, which instantly gives us a poor first impression of Stanhope. Sheriff then builds Stanhope’s character and the audience begin to realise that the effect of war has taken its toll on Stanhope, who we learn is a hardworking, young commander who is struggling with the pressures of the war and uses whiskey to help him get through. It is evident that Stanhope is good at commanding the company, as Osborne states “You’ve done longer than any man in the battalion. It’s time you went away for a rest. It’s due to you” on page 27, depicting that Stanhope has worked extremely hard in the last three years and should be proud with his achievements instead of being ashamed of himself because of what he has turned into. Osborne is a trustworthy character who Stanhope relies on and is a true friend.
We also see Stanhope respected by Raleigh, a young boy who knew Stanhope personally before the war. Stanhope was Raleigh’s inspiration to join the army, saying that he was “frightfully keen to get into Dennis’s regiment” to Osborne on page 12. He also describes his friend as “splendid” and describes them as “terrific pals.” Stanhope had such an effect on Raleigh when they were at school together, and Stanhope even admits that he is Raleigh’s “hero” to Osborne on page 26. We also see in this scene that...
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