The character of Squealer in the play Animal Farm represents a character who’s intended to covertly support Napoleon in his desires to become leader of Animal Farm, as such it could be said that there is a duality to his overall personality. On the one hand, convincing all of the animals that it is in their best interest to have Napoleon as their leader; whilst in reality his aim is to manipulate them, to allow the tyrant Napoleon, to have total control, irrespective of the needs of the animals.
As an actor playing the role of Squealer in Act One, it would be necessary to allow the audience to have an insight into his motives, whilst pretending to the animals that he is their true comrade.
The opening of the Act involves dialog between Napoleon and Snowball. The conflict is obvious Snowball acts as the voice of reason, whilst Napoleon is determined to dismiss this logic. Snowball knows that Squealer will support Napoleon; and at the point where the sheep bleat the phrase of “For Legs Good, Two Legs Bad”, I would have Squealer, standing down left stage in front of Napoleon conducting the sheep to shout the refrain. Lighting would centre on Squealers eyes which would be blazing with excitement. His gaze would shift from the sheep to Snowball, to ensure the compliance of the sheep and to capture any disapproval from Snowball.
When Boxer says “That the sheep must allow others to talk”, I would have Squealer take a sudden step towards Boxer, suggesting the he wants to silence him. This would be accompanied by a stern glance by Napoleon to Squealer indicating that he is not to interfere, and Squealer would step back to resume his original position.
At this point his body language would be tense with aggression, his face forming a snarl. Such, Non verbal expressions would again indicate to the audience Squealers real intentions, whilst Boxer would be unaware of the treachery. Such dramatically irony would add to the suspense of this scene.
Squealers facial expressions will always reflect the immediacy of the scene. When Snowball talks Squealer will raise his head and his eyes and will
clearly look as if he is worshiping Napoleon. Conversely, when Snowball speaks his face will contort symbolising content. As the tension rises between Napoleon and Snowball, Squealers facial expressions and body language will indicate that a dramatic event is about to unfold. I would have Squealer facing the audience from down stage left, looking directly ahead into the auditorium, with an expression designed to break the forth wall. This will engage the audience and lead them to wonder what series of events are about to unfold.
Squealer will be unable to contain his desire and excitement for what is about to happen. Squealer will move from hoof to hoof and his front legs will poise of a fighter. At the point of Snowballs explosion by the dogs of Napoleon, Squealer will jump in the air being unable to contain his obvious delight.
After explosion Squealer will circle the animals in almost a herding fashion and when he responds to Clover, his voice will be assertive and he will look Clover straight in the eye. He will use a deep, heavy voice, by breathing in from the diaphragm, and speaking in a slow steady pace. He will use simple language to convince the animals that Snowball has ran away, on his own violation. His use of reterick, combined with his ‘silver tongue’, will convince the animals that Snowballs plans for the windmill are pointless.
Furthermore, his voice will become quieter, and he will step closer to the animals he is addressing, trying to insert fear into them by his excellent speeches such as “Discipline, comrades, iron discipline, that is the watch word for today. One false step and our enemies will be upon us. Surely comrades you don’t want Jones back?”. I will stress the word ‘we’ in Squealers lines; to convince the animals that he is one of them, and wants only the best for their future. At the end of the Act when the animals are won over, I will have Squealer turn to Napoleon and smile discreetly.