AWAY – David Gow Essay, Research Paper

How do the Shakespearian elements of David Gow?s Away, contribute to the overall success of the play.?? The Shakespearian elements of the play Away, by David Gow, contribute to the overall success of the play immensely. The play contains elements from a number of Shakespeares plays including King Lear and A Mid Summer Nights Dream. It also contains characters from Shakespeare?s plays who play very similar roles in Away. For example Tom is very similar to Puck in the way that he has a calming effect over other characters. The play contains issues presented in Shakespeare’s plays, which really emphasises their universal significance. The Shakespearian elements also enable the reader to relate to the play, as Shakespeare’s reputation is so prominent. The final element that likens the play Away to Shakespeare’s plays is the quotes on the cover pages. The quotes come from Shakespeare’s plays and make the reader ask questions about the themes and issues presented in the play Away, and also other world wide applicable issues. The Shakespearian elements contribute to the overall success of the play in a number of ways. They make the play deep, thought provoking and relevant to all ages and forms of life, especially Gow?s use of themes in the play. In Shakespeare?s play, King Lear, the main themes are the stripping away of falsehood and artificialities and understanding true human values. This is very similar to Away, where the main themes are stripping away materialistic possessions and social status, and understanding real human values such as love, compassion and family stability and harmony. Gwen especially is materialistic, ?Not exaclty?.we?ve got tent? ? ?We?ve got a new caravan ? everything in it you coukd need?. The way in which this relates to the success of Away, is that it enables the reader to understand the universal and timeless significance of the themes being presented. Shakespeare wrote about them in the 1600?s and now David Gow writes about them in the 20th century, which signifies how important they are, because they are as, or even, more applicable in the world we live in today. The success of the play heavily relies on Shakespeare’s previous detailed discussion of the themes and how they are eternally applicable to the human society. The play Away, also has very similar attributes to Shakespeare?s play A Midsummer Nights Dreams. The play written by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream, has very similar structure to David Gows, Away. The plays are both based on mistaken order, or confusion that needs to be corrected. In Shakespeare’s case it was the acts order that needed correcting whereas in David Gows, Away, it had the sense of restored personal and social order. Peace and harmony are restored and rejuvenated, after mass confusion and disruption between family members. This contributes to the success of the play as readers are able to relate David Gows play, to one of the great Play writers of the world, Shakespeare, whose structure and methods of presenting themes are very similar. In Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, there is a storm which drives Prosperos brother to an Island to cool off and consider his actions, similarly in Away Meg, Gwen and Jim are driven to a beach where they ultimately reconcile and emerge with a new outlook on life. Once again readers are familiar with the situation and can therefore feel comfortable with the format in which themes are being presented. If viewers/readers are aware enough and familiar with Shakespeare they will pick up on such aspects and respect Gows clever links and similarities, if not they will be content with the scenario in which rejuvenation and reconciliation are achieved. This means both readers will be satisfied which contributes to the overall success of the Play. Gow also uses issues and strategies, similar to Shakespeare?s to help increase the overall success of Away. The issues presented in the play Away, very similar to the issues presented in Shakespeare’s plays. These include distorted views, confusion, and returning to the truth. Both Away and and Shakespeare?s plays present a picture of human nature. The image presented is a similar one in both sets of plays, the way in which the human race has deteriorated towards both materialism and contains elements of hatred. Shakespeare and Gow both put the human race ?on a plate?, to show humans what we are really like, hence allowing the reader to relate to the play, while making the reader take a step back to look at the human race. This contributes massively towards the success of David Gows Away, as it transforms the plot from unashamedly slight, to deep and thought provoking. Gows unremitting and systematic dismantling of the petty deceptions and deceits of characters also gives an interesting touch to the play, similarly to Shakespeare’s style. Gow has imitated many of Shakespeare?s methods of creating a play that is light hearted, yet thought provocative, especially in his use and choice of characters. Some of the characters in David Gow’s, Away, have very similar characteristics and roles as characters in Shakespeare?s plays. For example, Tom in Away is very similar to the character Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream. Toms life which has barely even begun, is tragically slipping away from him and no one is prepared to help him deal with it. Fittingly, Tom begins and ends the play, first as the impish Puck, and progressing to the doomed Lear. Tom?s parents by confronting there deepest fear (Tom?s Death) feel as though they can ?free? Tom, and allow him, like King Lear to crawl ?unburdened? towards death. There are many other character similarities such as the campers who play a similar role as the fairies in A Mid Summer Nights Dream, and also Prosperos from King Lear, is very similar to Jim. This is in the way he has a sense of control, even if not obvious at first, Jim knows what he wants and how to get it. Prosperos acts in a very similar matter, subtle yet effective. The Shakespearian elements in the play Away, contribute immensely to the overall success of the play. David Gow includes similarities such as character personalities, human nature being put forward on a plate, and issues which are universally and timelessly significant for all. These elements liken the play Away to many of Shakepeare’s plays, and along with the Play within a play and the quotes on the cover page, Away could almost be perceived to of been written by Shakespeare. Even thought the plot is unashamedly light, it deals with some deep issues such as treatment of the terminally and mentally ill, and the direction of Australian culture whilst unsettling and diverse cultural changes are taking place. The play basically returns to the frailties that characterise human interaction. Shakespeare has also dealt with a number of these issues and although done in a different matter, the similarities can easily be seen between the plays. Without the Shakespearian elements of the play Away, the play would have been sparse and have little literary substance. Hence the Shakespearian elements of the play contribute gigantically to the overall success of David Gow’s Away.

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