Drama Comparison Essay
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I am going to compare the scenes in which we have studied for She Stoops to Conquer and Guys and Dolls, I am going to discuss the similarities and differences between the two chosen sections. The sections that I am going to discuss are Act 1 scene 2 in Guys and Dolls, and In She Stoops to Conquer the section between Marlow and Miss Hardcastle as a maid.
The time period that Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon is set is in the 1950’s, New York, this is shown through the accents of the characters on stage and also through costumes.
In this scene Sky would be wearing a full suit and Sarah would be wearing an old Salvation Army suit. This is vastly different then She Stoops to conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, which is set in the 18th century, in the English countryside. The period is conveyed through costume, Marlow would be wearing breeches, and a cravat, a short jacket with a tail underneath wearing a colourful waistcoat the men would have long hair tied back with a ribbon. Miss Hardcastle would be wearing a maid’s outfit in this section; this would be a long brown dress with long sleeves and a square neck front and would also be wearing a white apron. They also convey this through language, which is Shakespearian. Another difference between them is that Guys and Dolls is a Musical and She Stoops to conquer is a restoration comedy.
There are some major similarities between these two sections one of these is that its between a guy and a girl, and in both the guys are going for the girls. Even though this is a major similarity the woman react in different ways. In She Stoops to conquer Miss Hardcastle is playing ‘hard to get’ so actually does like Marlow but does not want him to take her to bed, whereas Sarah just does not like Sky and does not want to talk to him. Both of the girl’s reactions are similar in the way that they are both rude and talk back to the men, both woman are supposed to come through as being innocent. Another similarity is that it is both dramatic irony this is because in She Stoops everyone knows that the maid is actually Miss Hardcastle, and in Guys and Dolls everyone in the audience knows that Sarah and Sky are going to fall in love. The guys in both performances are bold, Sky asks Sarah to go to Havana with him and Marlow implies to Miss Hardcastle that he wants to go to bed with her. Both plays are also deceiving this is because Miss Hardcastle is pretending to be a maid to Marlow, and in Guys and Dolls Sky is only talking to Sarah because he has bet that he can take her to Havana.
A difference between them is movement, in She Stoops to conquer the movements are very over exaggerated this is because at the time it was the fashion in theatre to do this, the audience would find these movements amusing and made the story easier to follow. In Guys and Dolls the movements are much more naturalistic in this scene and this also helps to convey the period. An example of over exaggerating in She Stoops is that when she meets Marlow for the first time she would do a big curtsy, but over the top this would be amusing for the audience because they would be able to see that she was trying too hard to act like a maid. A similarity between them too is that they both use the whole stage this is because in She Stoops the large movements make the actors use more space and in Guys and Dolls the actors use a lot of space because Sarah is almost trying to get away from Sky. The status of the characters is different, in She Stoops Marlow thinks that he has the higher status but Miss Hardcastle actually does I would show this by Marlow sitting down for quite a lot of it, showing he has a lower level. In Guys and Dolls the status changes at the start Sarah has the highest status but when she says ‘Isaiah’ the status changes and Sky then has the higher status.
The set is different in both sections because of the different periods and the contexts. In She Stoops I would set it out as in a small area I would use a similar idea as what I saw in the production ‘Othello’ were the walls fluctuated according to the mood of the play. I think that this should be a very small space this would show intimacy towards the two characters. The furniture should be set out as rich 18th century home e.g. a chez lounge chair in deep red and oak tables. In Guys and Dolls I would have this in a big space this would show the emptiness of the room and also reflect how far Sky and Sarah were away from each other in class. The design of the room would be that with 10 rows of chairs and 5 seats horizontally across the front.
The use of Lighting would be very different this is because in She Stoops it is older so the light would be in sepia, or the light dimmed like it was candlelight, this would convey the period and show that it was old. In Guys and Dolls the lights would be bright at colourful to show that it was exciting and have a happy mood. The Music in Guys and Dolls is similar in the way that it tells a part of the story, in She Stoops when we acted out when the music came on we would do movement to what would be happening next.
The emotional impact of She Stoops is that the audience find it very amusing and there is tension because the audience do not know weather Miss Hardcastle will pull it off. In Guys and Dolls the audience find it funny because Sky is so persistent and will not take no for an answer this is similar because for both the audiences reaction should be to find it funny.
In Conclusion I think that they are very similar and different in lots of ways they both have similar ideas about a boy trying to get a girl, but the way in which the girls react is different. The way in which I would set out each of the sections would be completely different because of the time period and the intensity of the characters. Overall they both use different techniques to show that they are different e.g. making gestures big.