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'An Inspector Calls' - Analysing Structure

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Ashley Mercer

on 12 December 2014

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Transcript of 'An Inspector Calls' - Analysing Structure

'An Inspector Calls' - Analysing Structure
Key Word Review
Historical Context
Social Responsibility
Dramatic Irony
Dramatic Tension
Morality Play
'Morality plays' are a genre of Medieval and Tudor era drama, made popular in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The plot is an allegory or parable in which the protagonist is met by various moral attributes and persuaded to choose a life of good over evil.

Allegory: a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Parable: a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson (i.e. the ant and the grasshopper).

An Inspector Calls: Analysing Structure
L.O. to apply comprehension of term 'morality play'

All (D): will explore definition of morality play, list 2 instances where morals are clearly described
Most (C): will apply definition of morality play, detail 3 instances where morals are clearly described
Some (B): will utilise definition of morality play to detail how morals are used throughout the play
Homework Task
Due Monday

Using a range of evidence from the stage directions in Act 1, answer the following question.

How does the appearance of Mr. Birling support the author's views on socialism/capitalism?
'An Inspector Calls' - Analysing Structure
L.O. To apply knowledge of classical drama to text.

All (C): Correctly identify elements of classical Greek drama in text.
Most (B): Begin to link elements of drama to setting and progression of plot.
Some (A): Use elements of drama to analyse roles of characters in plot.
The Unities
In classical Greek drama, plays conformed to the structure of The Unities. The three unities of drama are:
action: the plot focuses on one storyline
time: the timescale of the drama must not be more than 24 hours (stage time and real time were identical)
place: one setting

Examples of classical Greek drama include
'Oedipus Rex' and 'Antigone' by Sophocles
'Cyclops' and 'Helen' by Euripides
'Prometheus' by Aeschylus
Match comment to unity and copy notes into books.
When stage time and real time are the same, this serves to make the play more realistic.
Because complicated sub-plots do not spoil the action of the play, it makes the play realistic and convincing.
The single, constant setting focuses the attention of the audience.
How is 'An Inspector Calls' a type of modern morality play?
The plot of 'An Inspector Calls' follows that of a traditional detective story or 'whodunnit'
Protagonist (Inspector), victim (Eva Smith), suspects, dramatic tension
It also incorporates traditional elements of drama.

Key words: morality play, parable/allegory, protagonist
Analysis and Linking
The play has been read as a parable about the destruction of Victorian social values and the disintegration of pre-World War I English society.

The play also arguably acts as a critique of Victorian-era notions of middle-class philanthropy (charity) towards the poor, which is based on presumptions of the charity-givers' social superiority and severe moral judgement towards the "deserving poor".
Greek Chorus
The chorus in a Greek drama serves a number of purposes.

Offering a summary of what has happened so far.
Commenting on the characters within the play.
explaining to everyone the lessons to be learned.

Who has a role in the play similar to the Greek chorus?
Question Time
How can An Inspector Calls be interpreted as a modern morality play?

Use key words in your short analysis.
At least 5-6 sentences of writing.
Full transcript