Stanhope and Raleigh's Relationship in Journey's End
In this essay, I will attempt to discuss the changes and development
in the ongoing and differing relationship between Raleigh and
Stanhope. I will pay particular attention to character movement and
speech, sound, lighting and audience reaction.
Robert Cedric Sherriff was born on June 6, 1896, in Hampton Wick,
England. After attending grammar school at Kingston on Thames,
Sherriff worked in his father's insurance business until he entered
the army to serve as captain in the 9th East Surrey Regiment in World
War I. He was wounded at Passchendaele.
Sherriff was an English playwright and screenwriter is best known for
his World War I play Journey's End, an account of life in the trenches
on the Western Front. Sherriff’s other most famous novel and film
scripts were Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1936) and Odd Man Out (1945).
“Journey’s End” is set in a British officers trench located in Quentin
(France) during World War One, and is based on the author's own
experiences of the Front Line. The play portrays the life lived by
Lieutenant Trotter, Osborne, Stanhope and Raleigh. After being in the
front line commanding a company for 3 years, Lieutenant Stanhope’s
nerves are a wreck. He is a 21 year-old drunk that is adored by his
Men. When Raleigh, a boy who has just left school uses family
connections to get into the same company as his “old friend”, Stanhope
remembers what he used to be before enrolling: athletic, smart, jovial
and happy. Fearing Raleigh will be disgusted with what he has become,
and write back to his sister (Whom Stanhope is in love with), Stanhope
begins to hate and loathe Raleigh, with apparently no reason.
Screaming at Raleigh and trying to censor his letters becomes the norm
in the dugout.
With an offensive from the “Boche” expected, British forces attempt to
fend of the German troops off. During the attack, Raleigh is hit in
the back with shrapnel. Here we see a much more gentle Stanhope,
almost weeping as he lovingly cares for the dieing Raleigh. This is
why the relationship between Stanhope and Raleigh is so intriguing,
with this sudden change of emotion in Stanhope.
World War One lasted through the years 1914 – 1918. It involved two
alliances – The Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) and The
Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). With every great
super-power in Europe all becoming more and more politically hostile
with each other, and arming themselves more and more, World War One
was a time bomb waiting to explode. When Austria-Hungary Archduke
Franz Ferdinand was on an official visit to the recently claimed
Serbia, a collective of people opposing Austria’s presence in Serbia
assassinated him. Austria-Hungary, being distraught, blamed Serbia,
who denied all knowledge, whom, seeked help from Russia.
Austria-Hungary eventually, invaded Russia with the help of Germany to