Examine The Dramatic Presentation of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'

Essay by TaylorSwiftHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2014

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Examine the dramatic presentation of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'

In 'An Inspector Calls,' the Inspector is introduced, from the moment that he fatally presses the Birlings' doorbell, as an ominous and didactic character. He is Priestley's main vector to teach both the characters and the audience throughout the play, enforcing his control even within his very first line to the point he proclaims 'Good night.'

Hitherto the Inspector's entrance, Mr Birling was comfortably in control. However, the Inspector, without even being in the room at the point the audience first hears a hint of him, cuts into Mr Birling's speech about how 'we behave ourselves, [and] don't start a scandal' and '[a man] has to look after himself' with the simple, but ominously placed, ring of a doorbell. Inspector Goole gains control easily from the moment he steps into the room and announces himself, a control which he holds over the uneasy family throughout the rest of the play.

This is essential to capturing the characters', and audiences, undivided attention all the while the Inspector is on stage. Priestley introduces the sense of a calm authority throughout the first few scenes of the play, employing the use of the Inspector's signature concise speech, which nevertheless can cause quite a stir. A paragon of this is, as Mr Birling begins an attempt to impress the inspector with the various high-end positions he has previously held, the Inspector impresses his lack of interest with a mere 'quite so,' and controlling the situation with ease. Towards the end of the play, he pulls order from the chaos of the Birlings pointing blame on each other by 'masterfully [and] taking charge' regaining control with one word: 'Stop!' This is the first time in the play that the inspector...