Achieving Humor in Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

Achieving Humor in Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

Length: 1109 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Achieving Humor in Educating Rita by Willy Russell

Written by Willy Russell in 1985, "Educating Rita" is a comical
interpretation of his own life as a young Liverpudlian hairdresser and
his aspirations to become educated. The play is based on Rita, the
hairdresser who wants a better life, and begins this adventure by
enrolling in an Open University course. It is here she meets her
tutor, Frank. You could say, the key to her dreams. If I were to
direct this play, I would seek to achieve humour for an audience by
exploring the different aspects of comedy; comedy of character, comedy
of situation, comedy of misunderstanding and comedy of language.

There are many examples of comedy of character in this play,
especially as Russell has created such strong and impressionable
characters. Rita, the quick tongued, outspoken, witty character is a
foundation for humour as she isn't afraid to speak her mind.
An excellent example of her humorous character is Rita's first meeting
with Frank, her soon-to-be tutor. As she enters his office, she
notices a risqui picture on the wall and is unable to resist
commenting on how "It's very erotic." and defending her opinion by
saying "there's no suppose about it," and using the imperative, "Look
at those tits." The audience should find this humorous as it is as
they would be shocked at her sudden outburst to an 'authority figure'
in the play. However, in order to achieve maximum humour for the
audience, I would emphasize Rita's Liverpudlian accent and Rita would
speak naturally to show her openness and her self-confidence. Frank's
reaction to Rita's outburst is also vital if humour is to be achieved.
Frank is rather unsettled by Rita's confidence and to show this, his
reaction should be delayed and confused to show his inability to keep
up with Rita's quick tongue. It is imperative that this scene gives
the audience the impression that this play is humorous, as it is the
first time the audience meets the characters.

Frank's attitude towards Rita is another good example of comedy of
character. As a tutor in an university, the audience would expect
Frank to be very formal, however, he isn't in this situation. Frank
reveals his comic personality to the audience as he discusses a window
in his office to Rita. He tells her that he "sometimes get an urge to
throw something through it usually a stu...


... middle of paper ...


...tes
dramatically. "Sod them - no, fuck them!" This shows how similar Frank
and Rita can be no matter how well educated of high class Frank is. In
order to maximise humour, Frank would be excessive and over the top to
show the effect of alcohol on Frank.

Comedy of situation is used throughout the play and is used with
different aspects of comedy, such as when Rita first entered Frank's
office at the beginning of the play and Rita's use of language. It is
difficult to have comedy of situation on its own, so I would do what
Russell did, combine it with another aspect for maximum comedy effect.

Willy Russell has used every aspect of comedy to their full advantage
and has achieved highlighting class differences through comedy. When
Russell wrote the play, he wrote it to be performed and wrote stage
directions too. Personally, I would not change that because that is
the way he intended it to be, but I would concentrate on body
language, facial expressions and how they talk, e.g. the tone. So, if
I were directing 'Educating Rita' I would seek to achieve humour for
the audience? Simply by exploring the different aspects of comedy that
Willy Russell has used so well.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Rita’s Loss of Self Through Education in Willy Russell’s "Educating Rita"

- The preconceived ideas that Rita has about the working class, as well as the educated class, greatly limit the way that she sees people and their roles within the world. Throughout Willy Russell’s Educating Rita, we see that Rita uses education in an attempt to become a self-supporting individual and, in turn, shed the stereotypes that plague the working class. She attends the university in an attempt to free herself from the bonds that are holding her back from being the person that she believes she has the potential to be....   [tags: Willy Russell, Educating Rita, education, ]

Strong Essays
1665 words (4.8 pages)

Willy Russell's Educating Rita Essay

- Willy Russells "Educating Rita" Educating Rita is a play about a working class girl who is tired of her lifestyle and asks a university tutor to educate her in an attempt to change her ways her life. Her tutor, Frank, shows her the cultures and values of the middle class world as well as teaching her about literature even though he too is tired of his lifestyle. Rita forces herself to change and realises the damage she causes to herself, acting as someone she isn't. Willy Russel writes about the clash of cultures from each of the English classes....   [tags: Willy Russell Educating Rita Essays]

Strong Essays
1176 words (3.4 pages)

Willie Russell's Educating Rita Essay

- Willie Russell's Educating Rita In this play, Willie Russell has created two extremes of culture and put them together to focus on the differences between them and how these two cultures change as the play develops. Firstly there is Frank with a good job as a teacher and a large house and is well educated, who is contrasted with Rita who has a council house, works as a hairdresser and is not well educated. They first meet when Rita goes to Frank because she wants to be educated. As the play continues, Frank and Rita almost completely exchange roles as they are both unhappy with their culture and want to be more like the other....   [tags: Willie Russell Educating Rita Essays]

Free Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about Willy Russell's Educating Rita

- Willy Russell's Educating Rita ‘Educating Rita’ explores the way in which a woman, in her late twenties, Rita, has to deal with everyday life, conflict change and different phases as she becomes educated. The play is based on Willy Russell’s own life. At the start of the play, Frank is a more relaxed character. Rita is a hyper and open minded character, searching for adventure. She comes from the working class society and tries to become educated and well respected....   [tags: Educating Rita Willy Russell Analysis]

Free Essays
1506 words (4.3 pages)

Educating Rita By Willy Russell and The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's

- "Educating Rita" By Willy Russell and The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's 'Educating Rita' by 'Willy Russell relates to the social, historical and cultural context of Britain in the late 1970's throughout the play and this extremely strong and believable reference to these three subjects contribute to a good piece of drama. 'Willy Russell' makes these references in everything, from the smallest detail, Rita's hair colour to the extreme stereotyping of each of the two classes....   [tags: Educating Rita russell Essays]

Free Essays
1629 words (4.7 pages)

Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

- Educating Rita by Willy Russell “ How do the characters of Frank and Rita change throughout the play and what is Russell’s purpose of using the technique?” Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell who was born in Liverpool, Whiston. “I really don’t want to write plays which are resigned, menopausal, despairing and whining. I don’t want to use any medium as a platform for displaying the smallness and hopelessness of man.” Willy Russell wrote Educating Rita as a comedy, he wanted to write a funny play to be watched and not to be studied....   [tags: A Play By Willy Russell]

Strong Essays
2120 words (6.1 pages)

Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

- Educating Rita by Willy Russell "Educating Rita" displays the major changes that occur in the main character, an initially narrow minded, outspoken and socially naïve Liverpudlian trapped by her working class life. Rita thinks an increase in intelligence and worldly knowledge will change this, and set her "free". She strives to change classes, and although is different from her working class peers, she still isn't ready to be accepted as middle class. She aims to reach her goal through an Open University course, yet naively thinks knowing what books to read and clothes to wear will allow her to immediately become accepted as part of her chosen social strata....   [tags: Educating Rita Sociology Social Classes Essays]

Strong Essays
3409 words (9.7 pages)

The Character of Rita in Educating Rita Essay

- The Character of Rita in Educating Rita In the play of Educating Rita, which is written by Willy Russell, there is a student aged twenty-six years old who is a hairdresser and also is a working class called Rita. Rita lives with her husband called Denny however Rita and Denny love each other so very much. Denny wants Rita to have a baby but Rita is on a pill to stop from having a baby, but Denny does not know about it, but then finds out later in the play. Rita wants to explore herself and learn, that is why she goes to University to find a tutor to help her learn....   [tags: Educating Rita Characters Willy Russell Essays]

Strong Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Culture in Willy Russell's Educating Rita Essay

- Over the last few weeks I have been reading a play by an author called Willy Russell, it is called Educating Rita. The play begins by introducing the two main characters, Frank and Rita. Rita is a young woman in her mid twenty?s, living in a working class culture. Rita is not happy with the way her life is going, she wants to be seen as more middle class, so she decided to take a course at the Open University to study litterateur. Frank on the other hand is Rita?s tutor at the university also middle aged alcoholic living in a middle class culture....   [tags: Educating Rita Essays]

Strong Essays
805 words (2.3 pages)

Willy Russell's Educating Rita Essay

- Willy Russell's Educating Rita Educating Rita was a play, which was written by Willy Russell. The book is a semi autobiographical story about a woman who has achieved nothing in her life and wants to get an education before it is too late. She is being forced to have a baby by her husband Denny and regrets not getting any qualifications. With a lack of learning she had only hairdressing to turn to. She started to feel like she was just another person in a crowd, nobody special at home so she starts a literature course at the Open University....   [tags: Educating Rita Autobiography Social Class Essays]

Free Essays
2455 words (7 pages)