Comedies Often Contain Satirical Elements. How Far Do You Think That Educating Rita Can Be Seen As A Satire?

1173 words - 5 pages

Comedies often contain satirical elements. How far do you think that Educating Rita can be seen as a satire?Comedies can often use satire to achieve their purpose, which is to make their play humorous. Satire contains many different language features and which criticize or ridicule an individual's behavioural flaws. Sarcasm, irony and parodies are examples which can help a genre to be categorised by the use of satire.In Educating Rita, we get a satirical look at life, love, education and gender relations. We also get a view of social stratification based on social class. The play follows the learning journey experienced by Rita and also Frank. Although the play's main plot is the educating of Rita, we also see Frank learning new things as he interacts with Rita. The language used throughout Educating Rita is a key element to portraying to the audience how much the character's develop and satirical devices within the spoken discourse help to do this.The play starts with the audience getting to know a bit about Frank and what sort of person he is- carefree, most likely drunk. As Frank picks up a call from his partner Julia, he uses a lot of sarcastic remarks such as "Darling, you could incinerate ratatouille, radiate it, cook it in the ovens of hell, napalm the bloody stuff and still it wouldn't be cooked!" there is a lot of hyperbole used here to get across how he feels about the meal and it sounds like he is mocking Julia by stating what she plans on cooking is boring and simple. So although this is used for a comical effect, it can also be quite cruel, which is common in comedy; a lot of humour is often based on cruelty and negativity.When the audience first see Rita, she comes across as a stereotypical working class Liverpudlian woman. She does not shy away from talking about the erotic painting on the wall as soon as she enters the room. Social convention urges us to remain discreet about such sensitive topics especially around people we don't know too well, however Rita does not understand these social mannerisms; she say's what is on her mind, when it's on her mind. The sexual topic here is a satirical element and also makes the audience laugh as Rita comes out with some very risqué comments; "-look at those tits." "Because this was like the porn of its day, wasn't it?" "this is the sort of thing they would have perved over in those days, isn't it?" The audience laugh, because it is common to find something funny which is different from daily social interactions; Rita, being from the working class, does not know how to differentiate between what to say in public and what not to. We see how naïve she is in this scene.In Act 1 Scene 4, Rita responds to Frank's questioning of the whereabouts of her essay by telling him that she doesn't have it; to this Frank says "Don't tell me! Last night, whilst you were asleep a couple of errant Oxbridge dons broke into your premises and appropriated your essay for their own highly dubious...

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