Is Stanhope a hero? What heroic characteristics does he show?  Am comparing him with Macbeth - how playwrights present them both and attempting some kind of comparison.

1 Answer

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In R. C. Sheriff’s play, “Journey’s End”, much like the war poetry of Owens, there are no traditional heroes. Raleigh’s notions of heroism, acquired possibly from reading and imagination, is portrayed as naive. The orders received are, like those that killed the light brigade in Tennyson’s poems, likely to get the troops killed, and individual bravery doesn’t help against machine gun fire. Stanhope is not the sort of hero Raleigh imagines, but an experienced soldier, who does remain loyal to job and duty despite cynicism and drinking. He is very much a modernist protagonist, half way between hero and anti-hero. He is not proud and ambitious and willing to consort with evil like Macbeth. You might want to compare him to Banquo or Macduff, who are closer to him on the moral spectrum