Without Hector Would There Be Fewer Opportunities for Comedy?

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Without Hector would there be fewer opportunities for comedy? Comedy is presented by Bennett throughout the play by using a variety of techniques and methods, the most obvious being the witty repartee amongst the boys and the teachers followed by juxtaposition of the atmosphere and expectations of a character as well as vast taboo language by most of the characters including the more reserved such as Mrs Linott. To measure the extent of Hectors input to the comedy in the play, we must first discover what comedy is. It’s widely accepted that the best comedy has to derive from important issues so that the importance has resonance and weight; some of these issues include, the dominance of Oxbridge within the English educational system, the corruption of the ‘old boy’ network, for example Rudge getting into Oxford just because of his father’s connections. There is also the matter of Sexuality, Hector, Posner and Irwin are all presented to be gay, it’s the exploration of this issue that is humorous yet there is always the underlying issue of sexuality at different points of a persons life. Furthermore the attitudes towards sex, Dakin is straight but often experiments, weather this is because he is so confident of his sexuality and of himself that he can experiment without seeming gay. Another issue is the evil that lies within the league tables; the headmaster often complains that although hector produces results they count for nothing because they cannot be quantified, but branching from that, what is the purpose of education? Is it to produce excellent results or just well rounded people? Hector is usually present in the most comic scenes of the History Boys and undoubtedly the most humorous scene of the play is the transformation of the scene from a seedy French reenaction of a brothel to a medical tent at the battle of Ypres in the First World War. It’s the
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