The Great War By R. C. Sherriff And Peter Whelan

Words: 1460
Pages: 6

The Great War lasted four years and changed the whole world and so I shall be looking at how R. C.
Sherriff and Peter Whelan developed the protagonists in their plays to reflect the impact the war had, not just on the world, but also on the individuals involved in war. May Hassle and Dennis Stanhope were clearly affected greatly by war; May, by what the war took from her, Tom; and Stanhope, by what the war gave him.

All throughout the war May’s change of character becomes more and more apparent, finally ending with her having a hallucination. This is used to really emphasise how much she has changed and how the horrors of war doesn’t just affect those fighting, but those at home also. The main factor that affects May is Tom’s
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It is shown by how she keeps positive about the signs of the Pal’s deaths and tries to keep others optimistic also, when the others are worrying about the pigeon and what it could mean she tells them “You mustn’t give way to imaginings.”

Alternatively, Stanhope’s change has already taken place before the play but thanks to Raleigh, the audience learns a lot about his past. We learn that “He was the skipper of Rugger” and that he “kept wicket for the eleven.” being a captain shows that he had good leadership skills which are also made apparent in the trench. Knowing this, the audience can infer that he’s a good team player, shows good sportsmanship and that he has at least some level of devotion (for that is often needed in sports), this final aspect of his character is also made apparent in the play for we learn that he has spent three years now down at the front which is more than any other officer. Raleigh also says something that contradicts something said earlier on in the play by Hardy, “How is the dear young boy [Stanhope]? Drinking like a fish, as usual?” whereas Raleigh recounts: “I remember at school once he caught some chaps with a bottle of whisky… He gave them half a dozen each with a cricket stump.” This shows that Stanhope was against drinking and also had high morals that he has chosen to uphold which is further credited by Raleigh’s next statement: “He was frightfully down on smoking – and that