Real Inspector Hound

Topics: Theatre, Fiction, Literary Genre Pages: 4 (1525 words) Published: August 4, 2013
“In what ways are the formulaic conventions of The Real Inspector Hound used to satirize aspects of theatre and modern life?” The so-called ‘formulaic conventions’ of ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ are used not in their original forms, but rather altered, exaggerated and appropriated to represent Stoppard’s perceived nonsensicality of certain elements of both theatre and life, though Stoppard draws a hardly finite line between the two. Stoppard deconstructs the aspects of crime writing, and crime theatre in particular, that are supposedly most aimed towards informing and entertaining the audience. By exaggerating and in turn questioning the elements that he saw, in contradiction to popular public opinion, as irrelevant and out-dated even to the point of being irrelevant, Stoppard asks the audience to look at the traditions to which they subscribe outside the world of fiction, and indeed outside the world of theatre culture. Specifically, Stoppard uses the denouement to symbolise the way that he views crime theatre as confusing and un-relatable, he breaks down (by way of the critics) the fourth wall, which he views as an obtrusive, unnecessary barrier to truth and connection, and through this, manipulates the traditional, isolated setting of the cosy crime genre to further question the validity and relevance of the genre as a whole. In terms of manipulation of formulaic convention, the most distinct example in Stoppard’s Hound is his treatment of the denouement. Traditionally, in crime writing (and in cosy crime fiction in particular), the denouement is the process by which the crime is solved or explained, and the mystery unravelled. In cosy crime fiction, a denouement usually involves a series of logical deductions explained to the remaining characters by a great detective (an outsider possessed of superior investigatory skills), a process which ends almost exclusively with an accusation, an arrest or both. In Stoppard’s hound, however, the denouement represents...
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