DNA: Phil Key Quotes


You need to make sure you know the characters and quotes really well in order to impress the examiner. Here are two key quotes with possible interpretations. Use these as an example and have a go at writing out an interpretation for the others on the downloadable worksheet.

‘The man who showed Brian his willy in the wood. Please keep up, I’m making this up as I go along.’

(Act 1)

Possible Interpretation: Phil calmly and confidently takes charge of the gang when John Tate cannot find a way out of the ‘Adam’ dilemma. Although he is silent for most of the play, this moment is when he reveals that he has is a mastermind, able to creatively find a way out for the gang so that all blame can be averted and they can walk away from the situation scot free. He is brilliant but devious at the same time as we he is happy to pass on the blame to others in order to protect the group.

‘Leah? Leah?’

(Act 3)

Possible Interpretation: These are the last words of Act 3 and Phil’s last words in the play. It is ironic that throughout the whole play Phil practically ignores Leah’s presence and never addresses her directly. It is only when she decided to leave him that he acknowledges her existence. This is paradoxical as Phil has seemed to be an unemotional, power-hungry gang leader up to now and these final words indicate that there is an emotional side to him, he does care about Leah and wants to have her close to him. The consequences of Leah’s rejection of Phil is seen in Act 4 where Phil isolates himself and shows no interest in any further gang affairs.