The play chosen for discussion is Educating Rita by Willy Russell. Educating Rita is a comedy play and its story is about how a working person tried to fulfil her personal aims in gaining education to make her life better. She had to deal with ups and down coming into her way such as having a husband who is not supportive towards her fulfilling her dreams. The features analysed is the characterisation as how it changes throughout the play.
The comedy features in Educating Rita
Rita is considered to be having a funny personality in this play. One of the example from the text which shows her funny personality is “Well that’s no good always meanin’ to, is it? Y’ should get on with it; one of these days you’ll be shoutin’ ‘come in’ an’ it’ll go on forever because the poor sod on the other side won’t be able to get in.” Rita’s professor could have conveyed an annoying feeling towards Rita as she is telling out the dialogue in a sarcastic manner to him, but instead the audience who is reading or watching the play would accept it as humorous because Rita is being a immature student and the professor is having quite a strict personality and is also a professional looking man.
The second humorous scene which can be found in the play is in act two, scene three whereby Frank was teaching his class in a drunk condition. The reader of this play could not assume that the event of being drunk can take place in a classroom and it could be turn out to be a humorous one. Frank was so drunk till he fell in the classroom he was teaching in. In my opinion, even though the scene of Frank falling off from the rostrum cannot be seen in the play, readers could still imagine and picture how the image of him falling and putting on antics would look like and start laughing after that. Readers can imagine the scene taking place as Rita describes the event.
Next, there is also situational humour within the play. An example of this is when Frank attempts to help Rita learn to write good criticising literary essays, yet she has written an appreciative essay on
“Rubyfruit Jungle,” an erotic book that would never even be considered to be included on an English course ( Bartebly, n.d). In my opinion, I find this humorous because at this point of the story, we know that Frank’s effort to make Rita understand is totally worthless but it is funny and makes the audience await on how Rita would react and will she ever appreciate it.