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Stone Angel – Hagar as a Product of her Environment

Stone Angel – Hagar as a Product of her Environment

Since the commencement of our world, there have been those such as Hitler, Einstein and Hitchcock, whose very name stands apart from the masses; their distinct aura symbolized something far greater than just a simple human life. Such a statement can be applied to Hagar Shipley, the protagonist from the novel The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, and hold true. Hager is a unique character, whose essence rises above others, such that after understanding the journey of her life, her first name evokes a series of emotion within the reader. Due to her crass nature and uncompromising pride, one questions if the prestigious background of the Currie clan sculpted such. In addition, during her young life set in the nineteenth century Manawaka society, a high importance was placed on social status. This feeling of superiority over others traveled with Hagar into womanhood. Although it may be argued that one possess the ability to control her own existence, when the intricate web of elements that complete Hagar’s life are considered, it becomes evident that her life, in its entity, is a consequence of her environment.

Throughout the period of her childhood, Hagar was relentlessly educated of the Currie family glory. Her father exuberantly reminded the children that the “Curries are Highlanders” (Laurence, 15) from the “Sept of the Clanranald MacDonalds” (Laurence, 15). Such self-righteous episodes, installed a false pride deep within young Hagar, as she wholeheartedly believed that her wealthy Scottish relatives “lived in castles”(Laurence, 15). This exaggeration of the Currie past fueled Hagar’s feeling of superiority over others. It was this Currie…

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…bringing. The unbending pride associated with her character was an inheritance from her father and the past Currie glory, while the town and her status as a young girl shaped her speech and manner. Over the years, Hagar has come to represent the stone angel that marks her mother’s grave, but not a beautiful image of serenity, as one may conjure when thinking of angels, but rather an expression of immovable pride that lead to her demise.

Works Cited

Brooks, April. “Girls in Nineteenth-Century Life”. The Historian. December 18, 1992

Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel. Toronto: McClelland

Elements of Staging in Henry IV

Elements of Staging in Hentry IV

The elements of staging in Shakespeare’s Hentry IV, Part 1 are critically important to the action, theme, and quality of the performance. Elements such as costume, blocking, casting, and even the physical attributes of the stage are, of course, important considerations in the production of a play. But other, less apparent factors contribute to the success of the production as well. For instance, an underlying theme(rebellion, in the case of Henry IV, Part 1) must be, whenever possible, incorporated into the scene. Also the number and complexity of props must also be considered with regard to the financial success of the production. These elements as well as others, such as delivery and movement, must be addressed and accounted for effectively. All of these factors will be considered in this analysis of staging for Henry IV, Part 1, act II, scene iv, lines 394- 476. Since this scene transpires in a tavern it is necessary to maintain the simulacrum while still leaving room on stage for the ‘play extempore’. To do this efficaciously it would be wise to keep the props to a minimum so that nothing is in competition with Hal and Falstaff for the true audiences attention, as well as for financial considerations. To create the appearance of a tavern one simply needs four tables, each accompanied by three or four chairs; at least ten or eleven are necessary for this scene. One of these chairs will later serve as a prop for Hal and Falstaff when they use it as a throne. Three of the tables should be approximately four or five feet in diameter and one table slightly larger, perhaps six feet in diameter. This will be the table at which Hal and Falstaff converse in the beginning of th…

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…dialogue with Falstaff immediately before he begins his role as King and she cannot be moving around too much once the play extempore begins. She would be best placed at the right or left side of the stage behind Hal and Falstaff’s table. The stage interpretation provided here is one that will sufficiently depict each character as set forth by the previous scenes and will remain consistent with the action that follows. There is flexibility, of course, as to how the actors respond to the audience in things like inflection of voice and volume. A very involved audience that is laughing at the slanderous attacks, for example, would most likely encourage the actors to speak louder with greater inflection of voice at the eligible points of dialogue. In this respect, each performance would involve slight changes that are beyond the realm of the director’s influence.

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