A Character study of Billy Liar

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As you can imagine from the title, Billy is a very courageous liar and whatever he says becomes a lie. In this play, Billy tells many lies such as him being able to speak six languages. Billy is a very cunning person as he dates two girls at the same time without any of them finding out. He also deviously lies about the jobs in, which he has been to and continues to lie with every word he speaks.

There are several characters in this play including Billy himself: Geoffrey Fisher, Florence Boothroyd, Alice Fisher and many other characters. At the beginning of the play, Billy tells many lies which seem harmless at the time when we later come on to find that these little lies have left him in big dilemmas.

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During the middle part of the play Billy gets many visits from his friend who eventually finds out that Billy has been staying home from work and that he has not been posting letters just so that he would not have to pay for the stamps. He tries to deny this accusation but cannot be convincing enough to persuade his friend. In this play Billy tells lies after lies such as the one where he says ” my grandmas dead she died two years ago” which makes one of the two girlfriends sympathise towards him.

One lie after another leaves him telling his family that he has got a job as a scriptwriter. Billy is also a very imaginative person as seen in the play. I personally think that Billy mainly lies to impress others so they think a lot of him. Many different people have different views of him and his personality. His girlfriends think of him as a gracious person as he tells lies such as “I made these chairs myself and the cocktail cabinet and the garage”. They also admire him as they have heard a lot about him and his so called “past” where they think his grandma is dead so they feel sympathetic towards him.

His family think of him as a lazy liar who does nothing, tries to do nothing and is nothing. This is mainly because Billy is a very lazy person who lies to get himself out of trouble. His friend Arthur thinks of him as a sad low life as he finds all the lies and shenanigans Billy has been committing. Florence also refers to him in the third person saying, “He’s not right in the head”. This shows that she is telling everyone that he is not write in the head.

Arthur has told Billy that he needs help, but I personally think that he is just lazy and does not try to accomplish anything. Billy basically lies to grab attention of others such as people like Barbara as he lies to impress her and to grasp her attention. His personality is also awkward, as he sounds believable when he lies but also convinces the person. He is like a little boy who tries to grab attention by lying.

While he tries to confess to Barbara he tells the truth but the truth disappoints Barbara as she says, “do you mean you have been telling me lies?”(Angrily). Barbara then accuses him by remarking, “how many other lies have you been telling me?” After replying with the answer “no more” he tells another lie saying “my sister is dead but don’t talk about her during tea”.

Overall I believe that Billy is a very lazy and a mischievous person mainly due to the shenanigans he does and the lies he enlightens them all with to stop him from either getting in trouble or having to go to work. I also conclude that Billy lies mainly to impress others, build up sympathy for himself and most importantly to stop himself doing anything he doesn’t want to do.