Use of Dramatic Techniques in Cartwright's Road and Kane's Blasted
In this essay I shall concentrate on the plays 'Road' by Jim Cartwright and 'Blasted' by Sarah Kane with specific reference to use of language and structure of dialogue as examples of dramatic techniques.
My explanation of dramatic techniques is perhaps akin to Brecht's opinion regarding this theme:
'...The strong centralisation of the story, a momentum that draws the separate parts into a common relationship. A particular passion of utterance, a certain emphasis on the class of forces are hallmarks of the dramatic.'
Here we can perhaps see the way in which Brecht explains the aim of techniques such as use of language and structure of dialogue. They in essence are attempting to draw together a common theme. Perhaps in 'Road' language and dialogue is attempting to prove a sense of futility in individuals' lives, whereas in 'Blasted' the theme could be the atrocities of war are on both a personal and national level. How is the drama portrayed through the playwrights techniques?
In road, Cartwright uses definite techniques of language to create dramatic tension and in some instances irony. Firstly his use of rhyming worlds within the dialogue creates a number of aspects. Within Valerie's monologue the phrase:
'pissing and missing the bog'
has sibilance from the repetition of the 's' sound. Dramatically this creates a harsh consonant sound almost as if they actor playing Valerie is aggressively spitting out the anger that she feels about her husband. Within class this line was delivered with the dictated Northern accent which furthered the sibilant quality of the line and thus the underlying aggression and anger. Another way in which the use of rhymes if used is within the skinhead's speech:
'You've got to be fit to fight, and practise tactics every night.'
In this instance it is not so much the intonation but the speed of deliver which is created by the rhymes of 'fight' and 'night'. This increases the pace and encourages the audience to notice a sense of excitement that the Skinhead feels regarding his past behaviour.
In contrast within 'Blasted' this is not an element which is explored. However, there is a strong sense of rhythm within the dialogue between Ian and Cate:
Ian: Why not?
Cate:It's not very nice.
Ian: You a nigger-lover?
Ian: You like our coloured brethren?
Cate:Don't mind them.
The quick staccato style of Cate's answers provides a naïve quality to her character whom appears frightened of Ian's persistent questions. This dialogue, the style of question and answer, is quite tight dialogue. In other words it would be almost as if Cate is overlapping Ian's questions in order to change the subject. This quick fire round style conversation is perhaps...