An Investigation into the Power Dynamic between Troy and Johnny 12th Grade

Butterworth, through his use of dramatic methods, creates an intense, revealing scene in which the audience is introduced to the character of Troy Whitworth and made aware of the sexual abuse Troy subjects Phaedra to when he is feeling ‘a little bit randy’. Through Butterworth’s characterisation of Troy and Johnny, the lack of stage directions and exploration of time and memory, he creates a tense power struggle in which dominance constantly fluctuates between Johnny and Troy. The heated exchange between the two characters over the whereabouts of Phaedra creates an electrifying atmosphere onstage, furthered by the lack of movement due to the absence of stage directions. This extract is arguably one of the most important scenes in the play as it explains why Phaedra is ‘lost’ and foreshadows the horrific ending of the play in Troy’s direct threat to Johnny, ‘I’ll mark you good, gyppo.’ The extract marks a shift in the play from light hearted comedy to a much darker atmosphere upon the arrival of Troy, demonstrating the eloquence and versatility of Butterworth’s writing.

Butterworth’s characterisation of Troy as vile and malicious derives repulsion from the audience, especially juxtaposed the likeable character of Johnny,...

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