Our Country's Good - Drama Exploration

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Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker "Our Country's Good," a play by Timberlake Wertenbaker, is about a group of English convicts bound for Australia by sea in 1788. In the first scene, Sideways, a convict on board the ship, is being brutally whipped and we are introduced to the constant, overwhelming fear, hunger and despair that the convicts are going through. We are also introduced to all the officials on board. They are debating the punishment of hanging that three of the convicts have received for stealing, and we see the different attitudes different characters have to this. Governor Arthur Phillip supports a humane approach to dealing with the convicts, but Judge David Collins believes that the law must be…show more content…
However, Captain Phillip inspires Clark to go on. In the second rehearsal Robbie Ross is causing disruption yet again, however, as the convicts begin to act regardless, Ross finds himself impressed and any further impediments cease. Liz Morden is sentenced to hanging as a result of accusations of her stealing. She asks Harry Brewer to tell Ralph Clark, after she is hanged, that she was innocent all along, so that he knows the truth. However, Harry suffers a stroke and collapses at this point, after having been mentally ill for quite a while. He dies that night, with Duckling by his side. The officers debate Liz's sentence. Captain David Collins does not support the verdict as he states that there is only circumstantial evidence and Liz refused to verify or speak up about any part of the situation. However, Robbie Ross still considers her guilty. Liz Morden is then brought in and the officers urge her to talk "for the good of the colony … and of the play". Liz does indeed speak eventually, and she is found innocent. Therefore "The Recruiting Officer" goes on as well. Finally, the performance night comes. The convicts' different aspirations are revealed, with Dabby wanting to escape back to her beloved Devon, Wisehammer wanting to become a writer and Sideways planning to start a theatre company in Australia. There is a sense of triumph among the convicts as Ralph Clark

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