Shirley's Changes in the Course of Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell

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Shirley's Changes in the Course of Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell

"Shirley Valentine" was primarily written as a monologue to express

the emotions of a bored middle-aged housewife. The monologue was

originally performed by the actress Pauline Collins. The monologue was

adapted by Willy Russell and converted into a screenplay. Willy

Russell kept most of the original devices such as the voiceovers and

the flashbacks to narrate the story. Furthermore he added other

character to the screenplay. Willy Russell was born in Liverpool in

1974 and left school at the age of fifteen. The play had some

resemblance on Russell's childhood and the surroundings he was brought

up in. "Shirley Valentine" is the journey of a tedious middle-aged

housewife who try's to break away from her inescapable routine,

lifeless marriage. She is trying to find her true self. She is

searching for 'Shirley Valentine'. The purpose of this essay is to

analyse the changes that Shirley goes through in the course of the

play and how Willy Russell illustrates the importance of these


Willy Russell perceptively uses cinematic device to help the audience

understand what Shirley is going through and to help us as the

audience and reader to sympathise with her. Using techniques such as

flashbacks and conversing to the audience makes us feel as though she

is directly talking to us as a friend and we are going through the

emotions, which Shirley is undergoing. Before the film begins we are

shown illustrations of Shirley carrying out domestic chores

immediately revealing to us the situation Shirley is in and that she

is a housewife. The soundtrack is a way in ...

... middle of paper ...

...ley Valentine again."

This show how assertive she is and how she feels as though she has

found herself again. She tells Joe straight what she is and that she

isn't going to be pushed around anymore. At the beginning of the

screenplay Shirley was a bored middle-aged housewife who was lonely

and hated herself. Now she is a happy and more confident person who

knows who she is.

This play shows the changes and contrasts of Shirley through different

stages throughout her life. The play is organised cleverly by Willy

Russell to make it evident that these changes are occurring. Also the

se of cinematic devices help reinforce these changes and to develop

the character. "Shirley Valentine" is a story of a person who goes

through changes to find herself and to over come obstacles to do so.

To find Shirley Valentine again.
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