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The TV series was first broadcasted in and ended with a Christmas special in It has six season and all together 52 episodes. The British historical period drama portrays the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants during the post- Edwardian Era. The functions and the tasks which are performed by the figural conception of the Butler, incarnated by the character Charles Carson, will be introduced and discussed. Furthermore, the duties, speak the actual tasks performed by the Butler will be defined. Having a picture of possible differences and commonalities as well as an analysis of the series on selected sequences one will be able to put both characters into contrast for a closing up.

Described and analyzed scenes are marked by season and episode and the time code. The historical background will be presented by a collection of selected literature.

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Wealth was not only depicted by the land mass one owned but also due the amount of servants one employed. Land-owning families had at least twenty domestic servants; a great country house about thirty to fifty, always depending on the household size and the status of the Lord. All were living in the country house in a separated part of the house in sharing rooms.

Not only did he govern the servants work, he also looked after downstairs accounts and gave regularly reports to the Lordship. The Butler took the responsibilities for the male servants and introduced them to their duties as much as he watched their behavior. The female staff was led by the housekeeper and the cook. He had the only key to his pantry where he stored good tableware for upstairs and where he kept his private books and office. The register book for the wine was in his power and the key to the wine cellar was always carried on his person.

Warwick 90 The Butler represented the servants to the eyes of the Lordship and he was responsible for any adversities. The role of the Butler at the beginning of the 20th Century was highly prestigious.

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Therefore trust, authority and loyalty were one of the most important qualities to bring along. The Crawley family employs an unknown number of servants who work and live in the lower section of the country house. The Butler, Charles Carson, is the head of the servants. He governs, represents and rules them and is the first contact person for Lord Grantham. The first appearance of Charles Carson is made in the first episode of season one S1E1, Charles Carson is a mid-aged man and always appropriately dressed, wearing a black suit, a white shirt, a black waistcoat and depending on the occasion a black tie or a white bow tie in combination to a banded collar.

He is a loyal, responsible, with an explicit authority towards his servants and protects the name of his Lordship and his family by any means. While the duties performed by the historical Butler are reduced to only a few tasks, see point 3. Charles Carson as the head of the servants is responsible for the service downstairs, especially for the male servants.

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He introduces and advices new servants. He introduces himself by divulging his position and mentioning only his last name. Furthermore, he introduces other higher ranked servants, like Thomas Barrow, who has taken over the position as the valet till someone new had been found. Charles Carson checks if everything had been arranged for the new servant and he gives orders to show John Bates around. If Charles Carson was involved in the hiring process is not said.

Any concerns about staff members are shared with the Lordship himself. An exchange between Charles Carson and his Lordship about decisions referring the staff is insuperable even though it might be on Carson to make the final decision. In S1E4, He is shown and introduced by Carson to the Lordship. Again, an involvement by Carson in his hiring process is not mentioned.

Charles Carson is always present at new arrivals of guests or at return of the family itself, seen in S1E3, Starting with breakfast, he is present standing next to the buffet, available for a quick update and chat with the Lordship himself S1E1, Even when the rest of the family joins breakfast he stays.

He does not only announce that dinner has been served, he serves his Lordship in person, helping him to take a seat. S1E1, The Butler presents a servant of many sectors. Even when he has his own tasks to perform he is able to cover for someone else if necessary. Charles Carson does not put himself on a higher position when it is about helping out to finish the job usually carried out by someone else.

Downton Abbey, rules for household staff, [introduction by Mr. Carson]

In S1E1, Also he adopts the job of a footmen at dinner if they are little casted. S1E4, Only the Butler himself is allowed to enter it, to take wine from it and to serve it at dinner. With it comes the management of the register book where he checks if everything is stocked or if something is missing. He advices servants and checks not only on their performance of their jobs but also on their formal appearance.

Especially at dinner when having guests he pays heed to the servants appearance and pulls the team together. If there is any trouble downstairs or between servants he takes the responsibilities and arbitrates possible argumentations even when he has to step in physically, seen on the fight between Thomas and William in S1E7, Decisions, concerns and problems are managed due an exchange with his Lordship.

Also, Charles Carson is responsible for material tools and objects. He has a private pantry which holds a locked cupboard with silver cutlery and candle sticks. He cleans and checks on them and if there is a visible damage he fixes it. S1E2, Lord Grantham enters the room and helps himself at the breakfast buffet. He immediately starts a conversation with Charles Carson who stands on the left side of the screen with only his sleeve visible. He is directly spoken to. It provides a feeling that events might come closer but also dissociates. Charles Carson stands up straight in the left side of the buffet, hands behind his back calmly observing his Lordship.

Butler - Wikipedia

He is dressed in a black suit wearing a black tie. He only speaks when he is directly asked to. While talking he does not hide own opinions and concerns which can be seen by his facial expressions, raising his eyebrows and taking a more relaxed position. He shares information with his Lordship and a conversation develops.

It is an ongoing exchange during the conversation until Lord Grantham takes a seat. During the whole breakfast he stays there quietly. When Lord Grantham leaves the room he moves towards the door but it is not seen if he leaves the room as well or not.

Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff

One more this scene describes the close relationship between Charles Carson and his Lordship, Lord Grantham. He is not only seen as a servant but as a partner who can be trusted and shared information with.

It makes him look strict and superior towards other servants. This is also seen in season one episode one This time he is shown in a closer shot standing next to Mrs. Hughes on his right and blurred in the background Thomas. Mimische und gestische Elemente stehen im Vordergrund. Hughes directly. He keeps his position, hands behind his back and only uses voice and facial expressions to communicate. He often appears like a rock due his body language.

The scene is introduced by a close shot on the wine bottle. Charles Carson holds the bottle and is pouring the wine into the vessel. Hier wird der mimische Ausdruck hervorgehoben. Damit werden auch intime Regungen der Figur gezeigt, die den Dargestellten charakterisieren […]. Even when there is a knock on the door he stays focused and invites the guest in by only buzzing not giving any eye contact. The following conversation with Mrs. Hughes takes places by him still sitting and only responding to requests or questions. He only looks up when he is done decanting the wine. This can also be seen in season two episode one Already dressed in his evening dressings he is in his pantry decanting the wine. His door wide open, Mrs. Hughes steps in. Again, he does not look up from his current task even though a conversation develops.