Compare And Contrast The Ways The Playwrights Show Essay

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Compare and contrast the ways the playwrights show the unstable central characters in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams and ‘Making History’ by Brian Friel. How far do you agree that Williams’ portrayal of an unstable central character is more convincing than Friel’s? Tennessee Williams wrote one of the greatest American plays known, “A Streetcar Named Desire”. The play portrays a tale of a broken woman, torn apart by society’s men and treated as an object not as an individual. In post-war American, men had grown accustomed to power throughout the war. Therefore, many men expected to have power over women: “The alpha male” as it would be put. Blanche DuBois is a promiscuous woman who wants to find love. Williams presents Blanche as unstable because she finds it difficult to fit into society of the time; she lives in the past and expects men to treat her correctly like they did before the war. She is a divided woman because she is more sexually liberated, but also wants the chivalry of the past. Brian Friel wrote “Making History” to raise doubt about the “Nine Years War.” Friel presents O’Neill as unstable as he is torn between his Irish homeland, and England where he spent some of his childhood. He is supposed to be a leader of the Irish rebellion, but the audience will see him as weak and indecisive. Friel and Williams show many techniques in showing mental instability in both of their protagonists. One may argue that Williams does it better that Friel because not only is his central character clearly emotionally weak through h her speech and actions, she also appears unstable because of Williams’ clever use of stage directions and music. Both playwrights show their main character’s instability early in the play. The initial impression we are given Blanche DuBois is that she is out of place in New Orleans; she’s come from Belle Reve a
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