Analysis of Ratcatcher's Character

Brief notes about the Ratcatcher's role in the play and how he is presented.

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  • Created by: Yasamin
  • Created on: 03-12-12 19:17
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The Ratcatcher
1. Doubling
Samuels makes use of the dramatic device of `doubling'.
This is where one actor plays more than one role within a production.
Playwrights use this dramatic device to make a point ­ often political.
The actor playing `The Ratcatcher' also plays:
THE NAZI BORDER OFFICIAL
THE ENGLISH ORGANISER
THE POSTMAN
THE STATION GUARD
It is noticeable that all of the other characters he plays are:
character types, and therefore somewhat
two-dimensional;
male;
in a position of power and authority;
have similar personality traits;
represent a level of threat (in varying degrees and
ways, and for different reasons) to the young Eva.
2. Representation & symbolism
The character is based on the story / book of The Pied Piper ­ and
therefore helps establish the tone and genre of the play.

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This character takes both a literal and a metaphorical position within
the dramatic action.
That is, and in terms of character relationships, his role is both
representative and symbolic:
For Eva he is a physical representation and manifestation of
her childhood fears at being sent away from her parents.
For Helga he is a physical representation and manifestation
of the pain she feels at losing her child.…read more

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The mythical and fictional story of the lost kinder of Hamlyn
is compared to the real-life child refugees who were
separated from their parents during WWII.
The Ratcatcher's music, and his open declaration of evil
intent, especially when linked with the sound effects of
train, are suggestive of the Holocaust trains ­ which were
used by Nazi Germans to transport Jews to concentration
and extermination camps.
4. In performance
Interaction (or not?)
The Ratcatcher never actually interacts with the other characters ­
and vice versa.…read more

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In the original book, Der Rattanefeger he is described as a `shadow'.
In Samuels' stage directions we are told: `The shadow of the
RATCATCHER hovers.'
Therefore, the suggestion is that he should not appear on stage in
person but, rather, that stage lighting be used to create his shadowy
presence.
Clearly, a shadow of the Ratcatcher would be terrifying, and would
create the necessary level of threat.…read more

Comments

Leonora

This is really useful. :D

hannah

THANKS EVER SO MUCH!

XXJERRYXXM

Thankyou so much this was very useful cuz , i added my own notes to it.

Thnx again

Jerryx

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