The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard Essay

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In Tom Stoppard’s skilfully delineated play, The Real Inspector Hound, he seeks to merely parody the traditional crime fiction genre. The play does not criticise or parody at the expense of the genre but it is simply poking affectionate fun at it. Stoppard identifies the classic techniques used in crime fiction and exaggerates it to such an extent that it causes the audience to laugh at the ludicrousness of the genre. He parodies the typical layout and the archetypal characters used in traditional crime fiction stories. Stoppard adds to the amusement of the play through the use of parallel plots that absurdly and unpredictably merge, creating a classic yet twisted denouement. The Real Inspector Hound is a play that cleverly fulfils all…show more content…
The wittily named character, Mrs Drudge is the first to enter on stage and takes on the archetypal domestic character in traditional crime fiction. She does this by keeping a watchful eye on all of the characters and giving useful information to the detective nearing the big reveal of the murderer. Mrs Drudge fulfils and exaggerates this role perfectly, saying things such as “I chanced to overhear a remark...” (pg. 45) and “I also happened to be in earshot of a remark…” (pg. 46) nearing the denouement. Simon Gascoyne is the classic red herring character who causes the audience to think he is the murderer as he has suspiciously appeared “in the neighbourhood from nowhere” (pg. 41) and as all the characters despise him. Cynthia or Lady Muldoon represents the Grande Dame type character who is typically depicted as an upper class socialite often linking all the characters together. Felicity Cunningham is the typical femme fatale type character who is both seductive as well as cunning. She often comes up with snide remarks such as “Yes, Simon is an old friend, though not as old as you, Cynthia dear.” (pg. 24). Major Magnus takes on the role of the mysterious military-bound relative as described by Mrs Drudge, “the crippled half-brother of Lord Muldoon who turned up out of the blue…” (pg. 17). Another main character in the play within the play is Inspector Hound who is supposed

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