Stanhope and Raleigh are absolutely different characters. Stanhope is experienced and confident and Raleigh is naive and doesn’t have such a long experience in army that Stanhope has. But also you can find something similar in stories of their lives. Their childhood, which they spent together. They went to the same school and their families were friends long time ago. At the beginning of the play Capitan Stanhope is presented as a brilliant commander and at the same way as an alcoholic. This quotation ‘drinking like a fish’, means that Stanhope cannot live without alcohol just, as a fish cannot survive without water.
It shows literally that he will die without alcohol. This one “Without being doped with whiskey – I’d go mad with fright” shows that has to be dunk to get through the war without the fear. Also Hardy said that he’s called a ‘drunkard’. That also means that he is ‘in love’ with alcohol. But while Hardy jokes, Osborne defends Stanhope and describes him as ‘the best company commander we’ve ever got’.
Moreover, from Osborne we found out that straight after school Stanhope joined the army and became an amazing commander. Also, one of the officers said that he is ‘a splendid chap’. It shows that Stanhope has man’s qualities.
We also pick up a few more details about the character of Stanhope from Osborne – he has never rested, his nerves ‘have got battered to bits’. This shows us the nature of Stanhope. Second lieutenant Raleigh has a complete opposite character than Stanhope. The difference between them is just in three years, but Raleigh looks much younger than Stanhope. This is because the war ages Stanhope. Raleigh looks like a ‘healthy-looking boy of about eighteen”.
He is entering the war for the first time. He has ‘a nervous laugh’ and there are some dashes in his speech that creates broken speech, which highlights how overwhelmed he is with his emotions, and it is a bad quality for an officer. ‘His uniform is very new’ this quotation shows that he is a new and without any army experience. He imaged the war and trenches very different ‘”I thought there would be an awful row here- all the time. ”
But Raleigh is very idealistic, viewing the war as a romantic possibility to become a hero. He thinks that the war would make him famous and people will be proud of him as a hero of their country. Raleigh also idolises Stanhope, having looked up to him since he was a child and refers to him as ‘Dennis’. Also ‘their fathers were good friends and Stanhope used to come and stay with them in the holidays’. He admits that he requested to be sent to Stanhope’s company. Osborne hints to him that Stanhope will not be the same person he knew from school as the experiences of war have changed him.
But Raleigh does not seem to understand and he is looking forward to see his old ‘friend’ again. So from all my points we can see that Stanhope and Raleigh are completely different characters and do not have any similarities in their lives. But maybe later, in the play Raleigh will have some new war experience and it will be something similar in their characters.