2022 DSE English Writing Question 7 (Sample)

7: Learning English through Drama

As part of your drama class, you played the role of the hero and the villain in different plays.

Write an entry in your drama journal. Reflect on which role you preferred playing and why.

From Villain to Hero

Last year, I started taking English literature as my elective course and studying drama was part of the course requirement. My drama teacher said that the best way to study drama was to act out the plays. So I was required to play the role of hero and villain in different plays we were studying as our assignment. I played the role of Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice and the role of Joker in The Dark Knight. Though I enjoyed playing the character Darcy as he was a fine noble man, I found playing the character Joker very demanding and stimulating.

I preferred playing a villain character because I believe that in order to make my dream of becoming an all-rounded actor come true, I have to put my acting skill to test and stretch it to the limit. Personally speaking, it does not take me much effort to play a hero character as I embrace the universal values of courage, goodness, kindness and love in real life. However, since I am not used to being a villain in real life, I would like to dare myself to play a villain character in order to enhance my acting skill to a professional level and to get closer to become a successful actor.

Moreover, I want to know more about human nature, especially evil. Despite the fact that I am well aware of good, I seldom have knowledge about darkness and evil. By tapping into the mind and heart of a villain character, I am able to gain a better understanding of what evil exactly is and how evil takes shape which enables me to prevent myself from falling into the trap of being a villain in real life. 

Another thing is that in real life, we have many chances to be a hero but we rarely risk our life being a villain. Things as small as giving a helping hand to an old lady crossing the road,  opening a door for a wheelchair-bound person or doing volunteer services for the sick, the poor or the disadvantaged are already deemed as an act of a hero. However, most of us generally won’t choose to be a villain in our daily life because being a villain will very likely lead to serious consequences under the rule of law in the modern society. No one will dare to run the risk of being convicted or sentenced to imprisonment in the court and spending the rest of life in prison. Therefore, since, in reality, most of us won’t behave like a villain, only under a pretend setting, that is drama, will I be able to have a chance of experiencing the complex mind and psychology of a villain character as well as the evil and the darkness inside. 

What’s more, playing the villain character appeals to me personally because I want to be a hero in real life. As Chinese saying goes “If you know yourself and your enemy, you can fight a hundred battles without defeat”, by putting myself into the shoes of a villain, I can better understand them and thus will more likely to fight against them, save the world from destruction and bring faith and hope to the humanity in real life.