Black Comedy Lieutenant - Extra/Spare Info (Insensitivity of Humanity and…
Black Comedy Lieutenant - Extra/Spare Info
Mairead and Padriac
In scene 6 with Mairead and Padraic’s meeting we see the characterisation of Mairead – we see a new side her, as she is attempting to present herself in a more feminine manner, seen through the use of makeup and lipstick. She constantly flirts with Padraic, giving us the impression that she likes him “Haven’t I grown up since?”
Padraic’s brutal characterisation heightened;“What’s a boy doing there sitting with lipstick on?” yet the violence of their demeanours instigate a relationship between the two.
Donny and Davey
Both characters function as a dynamic and comic duo, presented as the typical stereotype of the drunken Irishmen, buffoons who struggle to make any logical conclusion – often making dumb suggestions that bring them danger
Davey is very concerned with his hair and how he looks, emitting a sensitive and more emotional side, and he rides a bike which adds to his comic characterisation through the description of the bike being very girly and pink.
Donny believes he is the person of higher status, when ultimately they are both as ludicrous as one another, exemplified when Donny affirms he continually “trampled on his mam”. Furthermore, at the end of the play we see the first rational/ moral decision of Donny and Davey which takes place ironically after the massacre – they decide not to kill Wee Thomas and stroke him, giving the audience a sense of catharsis. They continue to eat frosty’s which enforces their immature, childlike characterisation.
Insensitivity of Humanity and the corruption of morality
The irony of Brendan, Christy and Joey who ruthlessly murder humans yet value the sanctity of a cat's life; "I would have never joined the INLA if I knew battering up cats was on the agenda" - questions the morality decency of the characters and their privileging
Satirical nature of the play - the beginning symbolises the tension that pervades the play - the murder of a cat - at the issues of terrorism, political corruption and humanity are subordinate !!! ironic - analogy for the insensivity of terrorism
FORESHADOWS THE VIOLENCE OF THE PLAY AND CONTRASTS THE WHOLESOME NATURE OF THE SET E.G. 'HOME SWEET HOME' - HIGHLY VISCERAL SCENE
"it was no news, and when do you ever watch the news unless there's been a bomb in England gone off you can lauh o'er?
The characterisation of Padriac - the morally vacuous terrorist
Scene 2 - the ironic dealing of 'drug-dealing' with another crime (torture and violence) - however, this is interrupted with Padriac's ironic tenderness for his CAT
The interaction between comedy and cruelty at the end of the play - yet audience catharsis when Donny and Davey choose not to kill the cat amongst an accumulation of massacred bodies polluted across the stage (they were 'chopping up' moments before they saved Wee Thomas
Comic inversion of gender roles
Comic inversion of gender roles as the sister is much more feminine than the brother. The stage directions’ description of Mairead’s costume, “close cropped hair, army trousers,” is significantly more masculine to the recurring joke of Davey’s long, luscious hair.
The Role of Catharsis
Catharsis refers to an emotional response from the audience in relation to a release of tension. This release of tension happens as a result of a manipulation of audience emotion, through the use of theatrical techniques of props, comic farce, visceral violence etc.
Actors have the ability to manipulate and control audience emotion, thus deciphering whether an audience is able to experience or not experience that sense of catharsis. In the lieutenant of Inishmore, there are several scenes in which the actors manipulate the audience’s reaction, in order to make them feel a sense of catharsis or not. In scene two, between Padriac and James, the tension is heightened through the use of gore and violence, which is quickly released by a phone call from Padriac’s dad, which allows the audience to release all that sudden build up. Here, through the use of fast paced visceral violence, the actors are able to manipulate the audience’s response to the phone call, thus creating a greater sense of catharsis for the audience.
The audience’s immensely cathartic, emotional reaction to the cat at the end is made even moreso through their intuitive understanding that the cat is not an illusion, but is a live animal moving through a theatrical space that has mimicked horrible realities through the use of fake blood, prosthetic body parts etc. The catharsis of this play also therefor arises from the stepping away from this violent world and being reminded in a metatheatrical way that what they have watched is an illusion.
strives to elicit responses from audiences by graphically depicting the harrowing lives of the characters - portraying the lives of disenfranchised individuals in the midst of political struggles - domestic setting - this setting is interesting when considering the absurdity and graphic violence that will ensue upon the stage
menace and brutality have been added to familiar elements of daily Irish life - a sinister trace of violence as a regular component to the character's daily existence