Characterisation in Timberlake Wertenbakers Our Countrys Good

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He takes the sarcastic statement of Captain Tench that they should build an opera house for the convicts as a starting point of his idea: to let the convicts perform a play cf. Although his idea meets with open discontent from several soldiers, who worry that this project will result in disobedience and chaos, Phillip is determined to carry it out and orders Second Lieutenant Clark to organise it.

1 Introduction

This shows that he is absolutely aware of the possible negative consequences of his undertaking and does not only act because he is underestimating the situation. Captain Phillip is not only characterised implicitly, but also explicitly, for instance, when Ralph writes in his diary. This again confirms that Phillip respects the convicts and sees them as humans.

C B Christoph Burger Author. Add to cart. Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Characterisation of different characters 2. Pfister, - In my analysis I will start to discuss the characterisation of Captain Arthur Phillip. Sign in to write a comment. Read the ebook. Philosophie - Philosophie des Die Relevanz des Co Der Count Eine Me Physiotherapie, Ergotherapie Direct Access. He regards them with curiosity and caution.

He ends up catching a common disease they bring with them as he breaks out with red bumps everywhere. Arscott is a convict; he is hopeless and opposed to optimism.

This approach is heightened when he discovers that the compass he bought from a sailor is a north arrow drawn on a piece of paper. He becomes the most invested in the play and feels that when he acts his role he feels nothing and forgets about his life as a convict. Caesar is originally from Madagascar and wishes to join the play. Despite all this, he ends up getting stage fright and needs to be threatened by the other actors in the play. He was transported to Australia for killing a sailor who broke a strike.

He becomes the hangman of the colony after being given the choice to hang or be hanged. Ketch struggles to fit in as he is loathed by the other convicts, especially Liz Morden. He is desperate to act in the play but no one wants to go near him. Sideway was sent to Australia for pickpocketing. He reflects fondly on his days pickpocketing outside the theater and tries impress Ralph with his knowledge.

He tries to fit in with the officers and act like an upper class man but continues to become frustrated and slip out of it.

Our Country’s Good Characters from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

He speaks of knowing many things about theater but his acting is over-dramatic and humorous in the first rehearsal. In the final scene, he mentions that he wants to start his own theatre company which is supported by the other convicts volunteering to help write and act. Wisehammer was arrested for stealing snuff. He taught himself how to read and is widely knowledgeable in many areas. He wishes to stay in Australia after his release and write plays. She gets hauled to the auditions for the play by Dabby Bryant and ends up getting accepted after only reading a few lines.


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Her and Ralph fall in love and imagine a future together however there is always a power dynamic imbalance with Ralph believing he is better than her because she is a convict. On the ship, she sold Mary to a sailor on the ship in exchange for extra food rations for them both however she does care about Mary. Nevertheless, she seems to enjoy taking part in the play.

Ralph offers Mary the main female role of Silvia and reluctantly agrees that Dabby can play Rose. Liz Morden is offered the role of Melinda. One evening, the officers discuss theatre, punishment, criminality and morality, and debate the value of Ralph's project. Major Ross , his acolyte Captain Campbell, and the pragmatic Captain Tench express conservative opinions and oppose the play, which is defended vehemently by Philip, Collins and Ralph Clark.

Collins conducts a vote and with the majority in favour, Ralph is allowed to start rehearsals. Duckling complains that Harry is always watching her, leaving her no freedom. To appease her, he says that he will let her take part in the play. Dabby and Mary start learning their lines. Mary feels inadequate to play a noble lady, as she is ashamed of having sold herself to a sailor on the ship for food.


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Dabby argues that Mary was no virgin and that she might otherwise not have survived the voyage. Liz interrupts them and demands to be included, but Dabby becomes resentful when it becomes clear that Liz can't read.

Our Country's Good Character List

Freeman visits Ralph in his tent, claims that he is innocent of the murder that got him transported to Australia. He finally begs Ralph for a part in the play. A Jewish convict, John Wisehammer, engages Mary in a conversation about the meanings and sounds of words; she suggests he also take part in the play.

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At the first rehearsal, two actors, Kable and Arscott, are missing; Sideway overacts, and Liz can't act at all. A convict named Black Caesar arrives and asks to play a servant. The rehearsal is interrupted by Ross and Campbell, who inform Ralph that Cable and Arscott have escaped. Ross arrests Caesar, who initially went with the escapees but came back. The rehearsal is left in shambles. In prison, Liz tells Wisehammer her life story. Wisehammer protests that he is innocent. Caesar dreams of making another escape attempt and returning to Madagascar.

John Arscott, who has been recaptured, desperately cries out that escape is impossible. Sideway, Duckling and Mary arrive in prison so they can continue to rehearse. Ralph tells Philip that, because half of his actors are in prison, he wants to stop the play, but Philip exhorts him to continue trying, making Ralph see the much larger meaning that the play has for the colony. Philip especially advocates for Liz Morden, as he wants to make an example of her — through redemption.

Our Country’s Good

In his tent, Harry Brewer sees the ghosts of the two men he hanged, including his rival Handy Baker. He shouts for Duckling, but when she arrives, he cannot trust her, saying that the "ghost" told him that Handy and Duckling had been on the beach together. Nobody feels comfortable rehearsing in Ross's presence and Ralph tries to get him to leave. This just infuriates Ross. He starts humiliating the convicts, forcing Sideway to show his flogging scars, Dabby to imitate a dog and Mary to show the tattoo high up on her inner thigh.

As the rehearsal continues, Sideway and Liz begin to enter more fully into their parts, boldly using the full length of the room and interacting with the others. The words of the play take a double meaning highly significant to the situation.