Metamorphosis: Language

A summary of my notes for the language used in Steven Berkoff's Metamorphosis.

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  • Metamorphosis: Language
    • Direct address
      • When actors speak directly to the audience in character
      • Used to convey thoughts and feelings which may not be obvious to the other characters
      • Example: Page 21 - Mrs S: For a few moments that morning I thought I was dreaming but the dream stayed.
      • Practical work: I portrayed resignation by sighing, and looking weary, helping the audience to connect with the desperation felt by Mrs Samsa
    • Rhythmic Language
      • A stylised pattern of language, with a clear beat.
      • Used to emphasise a theme or mood
      • Example: Page 25 - Greta: Nuts. Gregor: Yes! Mrs S: Raisins. Gregor: Yes!
      • Practical work: I used my voice to make the rhythm seem gleeful - upbeat - which emphasises a moment of compassion shared by the family for Gregor.
    • Naturalistic dialogue
      • Ordinary discussion between characters
      • Used to show that despite the anti-realism of the play, the Samsas are an ordinary family.
      • Example: Page 32 - Mrs S: Who was to know?  Mr S: I should have!
      • Practical work: I delivered the lines naturalistically, to show that the Samsas quarrelling could be true to any family who found their son a beetle.
    • Third person narrative
      • Practical work: I used a detatched tone to show Brecht's influence on the way Berkoff believed the lines should be delivered.
      • Example: Page 20 - Mr S: His father for his part had no intention of making things easier by opening the door...
      • Used to focus the audience on the situation rather than directly on the character.
      • When an actor talks about their character as if they were someone else
  • Third person narrative
    • Practical work: I used a detatched tone to show Brecht's influence on the way Berkoff believed the lines should be delivered.
    • Example: Page 20 - Mr S: His father for his part had no intention of making things easier by opening the door...
    • Used to focus the audience on the situation rather than directly on the character.
    • When an actor talks about their character as if they were someone else

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