The Britain.This rather hasty first attempt at writing
The purpose of this essay is to identify the significant themes in Murmuring Judges by David Hare and to show how these themes have been presented to the audience.
David Hare graduated from Cambridge University in 1968; that same year he co-founded the Portable Theatre Company with his friend Richard Bicat. Ironically he was to launch his writing career because the Company was left in the lurch by a playwright just four days before rehearsals were due to start. Hare jumped into the breach and penned a short satirical piece on the unlikelihood of revolution in Britain.This rather hasty first attempt at writing turned out to be a resounding success; which inspired Hare to further writings.
(http://www. imagi-nation. com/moonstruck/COSC52.
html: accessed 15/03/2010). Hare’s career flourished; he became adept in all aspects of the theatre; managing, directing, writing and producing. His satirical style of writing has become acclaimed for its sharp wit and conceptualisation of key British institutions.
Significant themes in Murmuring Judges are the Judiciary System, the Police Force, class distinction and corruption within both the Judiciary System and the police force.Hare’s portrayal of these themes leaves his audience in no doubt of his perceptions. Although Hare is seldom overtly humorous in his writing; there is a degree of levity in his character portrayal; which lends the audience some insight to his observations of the people he presents in the play. This is most evident in Hare’s introduction of Sir Peter; who relates his belief that the entire country is united by its compulsion to tune into ‘Dessert Island Discs’ at Sunday lunchtime every week. “I do sometimes think it’s the last remaining thing the British all hold in Common. It’s the only time we’re really one nation.
Such a notion would of course be to the public at large quite laughable, however Hare has cunningly planted the notion that in saying something so obviously untrue; this man is at best a fool or at worst an out of touch snob. Certainly the audience is unlikely to feel any degree of affinity with this person; or at least none they would openly admit to by the end of the play. This perception that those people within the Judiciary are out of touch; perhaps even oblivious to normal life is affirmed in Hare’s delivery of the discussion about fundraising for the Bar between Cuddeford, Sir Peter and Irene. We started fund-raising for a campaign about 4 days ago. ” “How much have you raised? ” “One million” “That sounds an auspicious start. One million? ” David Hare has the ability to elicit extremes of sentiment from his audience; as succinctly as he alludes to the pomposity of the members of the Judiciary, he provokes sympathy and empathy in equal measures for Gerard, the ‘would be’ villain of the piece. The audience become privy to Gerard’s thoughts in a stream of consciousness as he stands awaiting the verdict of the Jury at his trial.
What they see is a rather scruffy youth with long unkempt hair; however his thoughts are in fact eloquent and emotive; eliciting from the audience a certain amount of sympathy for his predicament. “Finally I get it, yes, it is happening, these men, every one of them silver haired, judicious, informed, they will go home to their wives, to wine in fine glasses and gossip of the Bar, they will walk the streets and complain about their lives, and I… And I” Hare shows that despite appearances; here stands a young man who can look around him and identify the reality of the situation.What is more he is agonisingly aware of the gravity of his circumstances; not to mention the attitudes of the men who will sentence him then forget he exists.
Hare reinforces this notion that to the men of the Judiciary, people like Gerard are insignificant, in a conversation between Sir Peter and Cuddeford. Cuddeford is ribbing Sir Peter about losing his case, while Sir Peter belittles the situation and tells Cuddeford that it was not worth his trouble but he owed a friend a favour.Sir Peter refers to the case as a “silly sort of warehouse robbery” once again reinforcing to the audience that this man is not at all attuned to reality. Having given the audience a dramatic climax as an opening to the play; he now serves the audience with and explanation of how Gerard came to be in court in the first instance. Hare’s intention is of course to link the Judiciary system with the police force expounding his belief that both are fundamentally flawed.Sandra a WPC talks directly to the audience, Hare has given her something of a tirade to relate, the elliptical speech contains two semantic fields one of crime, the other of drugs, in effect summarising the job done by the police.
Sandra is Hare’s personification of correctness; she is the voice of truth and reason within the police station. She comes across as a straightforward no nonsense kind of girl; she works hard and has ambition. Hare describes her as “in her mid twenties with neat, dyed blond short hair.She is quite small and tidy. ” It would seem that he intends the audience to like her; she is easy on the eye and looks respectable. Sandra is testimony that Hare, although eager to show the corruption within the Police Force, is also willing to admit that it is not all bad and there is hope for the future. This is most evident in Act Two scene three when she confronts Barry, her colleague, whom she believes has planted evidence at the crime scene where Gerard was implicated.
“I’m not threatening you, Barry. Why should I want to?..
… Barry is quite the opposite and is Hare’s example of corruption and disregard for justice; which it would seem he firmly believes exists within the police force. Barry has done what he calls his “trick” to get people he believes are guilty of a crime to do as he wants by planting Semtex at their home.
Hare has Barry admit to Sandra that he really feels justified in his actions. “I did my trick. It always works” “I carry dynamite. I carry sticks of dynamite.
Semtex. ” References http://www. imagi-nation. com/moonstruck/COSC52. html: accessed 15/03/2010