How is mental illness portrayed on stage and screen? With particular reference to 'The father', 'A streetcar named Desire', 'Mr Jones' and 'Me, myself and Irene'

Ayres, Gemma (2007) How is mental illness portrayed on stage and screen? With particular reference to 'The father', 'A streetcar named Desire', 'Mr Jones' and 'Me, myself and Irene'. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation focuses on the portrayals of mental illness in theatre and cinema, with particular analysis of The Father, A Streetcar Named Desire, Mr Jones and Me, Myself and Irene. I have studied the different ways in which mental illness is portrayed in these plays and films, through analysis of techniques such as language and use of music, as well as by analysing representations of identity and relationships in the texts. I have drawn on comparisons with other literary texts to show how mental illness is portrayed, and discussed the effect these different portrayals may have on audiences. I've analysed the ways in which characters suffering from mental illness may be viewed as a victim, and also the textual evidence to support negative views of the character. This work also makes use of medical information to assess the accuracy of the depictions of mental illness, and I have analysed the messages within the film regarding mental illness to see what audiences may be learning through reading or watching the play or film. I argue that media portrayals of mental illnesses can differ vastly, and theatre and film have techniques of portraying mental illness such as through language. What is often the case is that the serious elements of the message may be lost, due to the genre of the film as a romance or a comedy overshadowing the idea of the piece being about mental illness. The public gain most of their information about mental illness from the media, and if mental illness is inaccurately portrayed, this can lead to wider misunderstanding about this issue.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/321

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