During Act two, in which Johnny is seen explaining the adventures of his father, Butterworth clearly identifies Johnny wildness through his sense of language . This is evident as Butterworth comically conveys Byron in his words and actions “Out pops him. Smiling. With a bullet clenched between his teeth”. Butterworth applies a sense of dramatic comedy to make the audience seem engaged. This is shown in Byron and Ginger’s conversations. In this instance we see Byron absurdly speaking in a comic register which is seen in no other characters. Ginger further questions Byron by immediately telling him “Babies don’t have teeth”. Byron’s delusion is overwhelming him and his personality which leads to even his best friend to start having doubts if his stories, or even anything he says is true or not . Butterworth uses this concept to often confuse or engage his audience to see where this leads the character to.
At this point of the extract the audience starts to acknowledge Johnny Byron’s weird and eccentric behavior when again he is storytelling. Butterworth embodies this idea when speaking of the bullet “ Could be any old bullet. Any old bullet eh? (He puts in between his teeth. Smiles.)”. The repetition of Johnny smiling is his way of trying to convince Ginger into believing him. By doing this Butterworth exposes Byron and others like him in society. By bringing in humor and laughter in the play this is only underlying Butterworth’s sense that Byron is a fool and a drug dealer. Byron’s ignorance is evoked and is pitied by the audience. This creates a fall in his character. His excessive pride and error of judgment is going to lead to suffering and ultimately tragedy.
Johnny throughout the play is constantly criticizing and rejecting the councils demands and the laws which have been given. This is conceived when Johnny is having a toast with the other characters in the play “ push back hard against the bastard pitiless busybody council, and drive them from this place for ever.” Butterworth uses this as a turning point in the play as it makes the audience chose Byron’s side over the council. His enthusiastic ideas and imagery gathers his friends together. A sense of injustice is depicted and his search for a new world older is rather impressive to us. His dedication and will of somewhat a leader could also be reasoning for why some see Johnny as a hero in the play.
Johnny’s is a profession at storytelling and creates an influence to other characters which establishes him as being the main hero and leader of this play. This is seen in the beginning of the play when talking of his interaction with the Girls Aloud. This conveys his self-ego and weaknesses. Johnny is the go to man for illegal activity and has lost his credibility by hanging with teenagers. The audience assumes Johnny is from a lower class due to him living in a trailer and the state of his clothing. Butterworth is implying that modern society overlooks those who are in need. Johnny is seen by everyone on the outside as a joke. Butterworth centers his play on Johnny’s alienation as he tries to be accepted in the community and indeed in modern society by engaging with the newer generation. This is further emphasized as we come to understand that the other characters do not care for Johnny as person but more of what he can offer. Johnny ideas and stories are as if it is not of our time in more so to Johnny’s outsider effect. This imitates a similar image in England today as Johnny and the play itself highlights the conflict between England past and modern society.
On the other hand, the extract expresses many reasons why Butterworth portrays Johnny as also a anti-hero of the play. A massive troublemaker and terrible role-model some would say this could be perceived in the end of the extract when Johnny gathers his gang “There will be free booze, bangers, draw, whizz and whatnot, for all the minions of my kingdom”. This shows he is attracting and persuading the youth to drink alcohol and take drugs. Butterworth uses stage directions “Cheers from those gathered” and the singing from Tanya conveys Byron is a having a great time with the loud all-night parties which clearly represents the bad side of English life. Byron doesn’t even take care of his own son and rarely even sees him the audience can therefore assume that Johnny is no more than a notorious drug dealer and foul-mouthed man who has no responsibility for himself or for those who he supposedly cares about.
Throughout the play, Butterworth also explores a mythical England through the character Johnny. This is personified when Johnny claims that a reluctant bang of the drum would send a signal towards the “ancient giants of the isles”. During the climax of the play we finally experience the tension through Byron’s drumming as the play turns towards the mystical realm in which supposedly has been occupying with. Amazingly Butterworth leaves the play with a bit of a cliff hanger, creating a sense of hope that Johnny magical force within the drum will be able to withstand the local authorities who want to evict him.
Taking everything into account, Jerusalem focuses on dealing with the ideas concentrating on rural life of England centering the main character Johnny Byron, an eccentric and rather egotistical man wanted by the local officials. However looked up to by others much like a cult figure in England’s legendary histo