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The Real Inspector Hound. Essay

2769 words - 11 pages

The Real Inspector Hound

Contrasting settings, ideals and people dominate The Real Inspector
Hound. Almost every character has an opposite, and is otherwise
totally unique. Cynthia is opposite to

Felicity, Simon is the contrast of Magnus, and so on. Tom Stoppard has
included these contrasts for a variety of reasons and effects that
combine to create the disturbing effect of the play incredibly
effectively. But what individual effects do his characters create by
opposing each other so accurately.

At the start of the play, Stoppard deliberately confuses the audience
with the opposing characters of Birdboot and Moon, at first; the
audience is left to indulge in the view of moon and the body, this
allows them to create their own impression of Moon, and Stoppard
encourages this impression with moons early actions. Moon begins by
staring blankly ahead, then he reads his program, then he continues to
stare. This affects the audience because Moon appears to be a simple
member of the audience, and so the audience become infuriated at the
pause, yet he is on the stage and so the audience become perplexed as
to whether Moon is a member of the audience, or a character in the
play. It is when the audience are most confused and becoming bored
that Stoppard introduces the next part, Birdboot. Birdboot is a polar
opposite of Moon, and as the audience will swiftly become aware,
represents one stereotypical type of critic, whilst moon represents
another, the opposite.

Birdboot settles into the chair next to Moon eating a packet of
chocolate, instantly the contrast is obvious to the audience, here is
Moon, reading his program and thinking intensely, when Birdboot turns
up, munches some chocolates loudly and begins to talk. Birdboot's
first words confirm the audience's thoughts. Birdboot is a proletarian
moron, just the sort of person they like to imagine when they think of
a critic. Birdboot asks where Higgs is; moon instantly replies with a
paragraph of life, the universe and everything, now the audience know
that the two people are critics, and they also know Moon is the other
type of critic, the sort who does waffle about the meaning of life and
reality in his reviews. Ironically, despite these characters being
totally obvious as opposites, as the audience have worked out from
just a few lines of speech, Moon defines his opposite as Higgs,
leaving Birdboot out of the question. The audiences now how some time
to scoff at Stoppard's flimsy attempt to create realistic critics.
This effect is just what Stoppard wanted from the opposing critics in
the opening scene. The audiences is confused as to what is the play,
and what is not, they are waiting for what they think is the play to
start, they are become increasingly agitated and are passing the time
scoffing about how truly terrible...

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