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Public Patriarchal Authority in Joe Ortons Plays - Essay Example

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In fact, it is considered that "he communicated so successfully his version of the world Ortonesque as implying a peculiar mixture of the violent, the formal, and the amusing" (Orton, 1997). There are so many plays which Orton participated in and which thus could be discussed in his regards, however the aim of this paper is to discuss three plays and three characters in particular, the plays being: Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Loot, and What the Butler Saw; and the three characters being: Kemp, Truscott, and Rance. By addressing and discussing certain issues in this regards, such as the shared characteristics between the three and what they represent, their authority and power over the other characters in the plays and the power of the public patriarchal figures, as well as by examining the issue of Orton's plays being anti-authoritarian and undermining the patriarchal authorities, we will be able to come to a much more informed and knowledgeable understanding on this matter overall. This is what will be dissertated in the following.
Beginning with the play Entertaining Mr. Sloane, which was given its very first performance at the New Arts Theatre on May 6, 1964, and it ended up winning the London Critics' 'Variety' Award as the best play of the year. This play was said to be of interest 'only to those epicenes who look upon the public humiliation of women as grand sport'. This play includes the character Kemp, who is the father of Eddie who is the homosexual brother to Kath, who is a landlady; the basic plot of this story is that Kath, who is a single woman of 41, and who lives with her decrepit father Kemp, and Eddie, her brother, visits her occasionally, in their scruffy old house that sits on the edge of a rubbish dump. Then one day a man named Sloane comes to the house looking for a place to stay, and both Kath and Ed find themselves immediately attracted to Sloane, and not only that, but we see throughout the play that they are also getting a kick out of the fact of how they are sharing the same lover. Kemp is thus part of a very dysfunctional family, and although he is certainly not fully aware of everything that is taking place in his home, he is in on some of it. Kemp has very traditional values and beliefs, and if he was completely aware of some of the things that were taking place basically right in front of him, he would be horrified and angry. Kemp is absolutely the pubic patriarchal authority in this story, and he has authority and power over the other characters, primarily due to his age and thus seniority, however with Kath and Ed he especially has authority over them as their father.
When we look at the play Loot, we see that this play is quite different from the one previously discussed, as this one is more of a dark farce, one which satirises the Roman Catholic Church, social attitudes to death, and as well the integrity of the police force. The play is described as: "Loot follows the fortunes of two young thieves, Hal and Dennis. Together they rob the bank next to the funeral parlor where Dennis works and return to Hal's home to hide the money. Hal's mother has just died and the money is hidden in her coffin whilst her body keeps on appearing around the house. Upon the arrival of Inspector Truscott the ...Show more
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Joe Orton (1933 - 1967) was a man of incredible intrigue and wonder, one who had a short but incredibly prolific career in his time, and being a playwright was one of his most memorable acts of all; it was in the early 1960s when he actually began to write plays and his achievement and success in this forum was amassing…
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