In the play ‘Educating Rita’ cruelty and cynicism feature a great deal. One of the main characters, Frank, is cynical. Frank’s personality portrays him as a miserable old man who cannot see the good in anybody, including Rita. For example, Frank thinks that Rita is only trying to change herself because it will look good to others when they meet her rather than seeing that she is really trying to change her life for the better, not for selfish reasons. When Frank is on the phone to Julia he refers to Rita as “some silly woman” and this portrays him to be cynical because even though he has never met Rita he is already making assumptions about her in a negative manner.
It could be amusing to the audience as it highlights the absurdity of the situation. Also, in the same scene, Frank does not get Rita’s joke about him being named after the quality who is Frank Ness, Eliot’s brother who was the famous ‘Chicago copper’ who caught Al Capone. Frank thought Rita meant T.S Eliot. The audience may feel superior to Frank, as they may understand the joke so this would be amusing to them. Professor Dan Rebellato states that: “we laugh at something because we feel superior to it”.
While Shakespeare does use Iago’s soliloquy to encourage the audience to admire him, the soliloquy also highlights his incredible aptitude for malice. The continued metaphor of Iago’s jealousy being an ailment to him, “doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards” and expressed further on where he vows to give Othello “a jealousy so strong/that judgment cannot cure”, brings a sense of paranoia and mania to him. This paranoid side to Iago is further emphasized when he alleges Othello of having “leaped into my [his] seat”, his
Although his actions are very insane, they can be seen as rational to reader considering hedonism. Devotion to pleasure, hedonism, makes Dorian be deceitful about his true self by deflecting the attention of the public from the mad man to the beautiful and intelligent gentlemen. Dorian is, young, sensitive, and emotional, meaning that he is susceptible to manipulation. Lord Henry takes advantage of that opportunity and gives Dorian the yellow book; this book opens up the world of hedonism and aestheticism which eventually turns his young life into an eternal oblivion of misery. Dorian develops a fear of aging so he tries to live his life as if it was his last day on earth.
This is significant because Rita’s lively and irreverent speech is a source of humour in the play. For instance, when Rita animatedly refers to a painting, using words such as “erotic” and “tits” she is clearly comfortable talking in this manner to her lecturer, this makes conservative Frank feel uncomfortable and as a consequence he replies to her with brief answers. Just this conversation alone has comedic value as it shows how very different these two characters are, they have opposing lifestyles, behaviour and seem to be moving in opposing directions. In the first encounter between Rita and Frank, their dialect and everyday speech confuses them both as Rita speaks in a colloquial language and Frank in Standard English. Her understanding of a simple question ‘And you are?’ asked by a well-educated person confuses her and she fails to understand what is really being asked.
Iago, who is known as the Machiavellian villain perpetuates the tragedy by bringing forward a hamartia or a fatal flaw from Othello. As soon as the play begins, Shakespeare used dramatic irony to illustrate Othello’s view of Iago as an honest and trustworthy man through his repeated description of “honest Iago” and “a man of exceeding honesty” to the audience. Of course that is not the case, the audience views Iago to be “Janus-faced” and deceptive through his constant declaration of “I am not what I am” and how he “hates the moor”. This juxtaposition is created so that the audience can empathise with Othello. I know I can definitely empathise with him.
The Fools songs, riddles and jokes are a source of comic relief, used to break up the intensity of scenes. The Fool appears to have a deceptively simple part in the play when in actual fact his role is of key significance. The Fool and Lear have a fascinating relationship throughout the play. Lear seems to depend on his Fool increasingly to be his voice of reason or his conscience, because he reminds Lear of all his mistakes and manipulates his feelings into realising them. This is a great irony as the King who is supposed to be wise is in-fact a fool, yet the Fool himself is full of
Isben wants to highlight how crude not having equality for women is, especially when a portion of them are smarter than a portion of the opposite gender and vice versa. He shows Nora’s husband in an attempt to emphasize the negative part of the non-feminism side. He shows him as a belittling man to his “squanderbird” and how he treats her with little respect. (A Doll’s House) He does so by using little nicknames that remind her of problems she has while she retains herself from pointing out his flaws. Although, it is understandable that she doesn’t point out his flaws with all the lies and guilt she has stacked up on her marriage.
In the excerpt from The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, playwright Oscar Wilde creates a humorous account of Wilde’s interpretation of Victorian society. Through describing an oddly humorous interview scene between Jack and the mother of the girl he fancies, Lady Bracknell. Wilde attempts to capture the essence of the frivolity of many Victorian era customs and traditions that are exemplified by this exchange between these two individuals. The play's title itself contains a mocking paradox (serious people are so because they do not see trivial comedies), introduces the theme, which is prevalent throughout the excerpt. The clashing between the trivial and the serious forms the foundation of the excerpt.
These type of puns are certainly found in the play in lines such as “As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte” and “It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn’t a dentist. It gives a false impression.” In The Importance of Being Earnest, many of the puns are expanded upon to a point that requires a second reading or careful observation. An example of this elaborate pun would be Bracknell’s criticizing of Jack’s infancy. She uses phrases such as “origin” and “Terminus” to indicate that he has no real past. The Importance of Being Earnest puts a satirical spin on the vanity and fruitlessness of modern living.