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Beyond ‘Good’ and ‘Evil

  • John Arden
  • Margaretta D’Arcy
  • Edward Bond

Abstract

The first appearance of a genuinely Brechtian impulse and influence in British and Irish political drama täkes place in the plays of John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy and Edward Bond. Both Arden and Bond were always concerned with dramatizing social problems, undercutting the self-proclaimed forces of ‘law and order’ and demonstrating the human tragedies which are the direct result of their power; but both writers also proceeded to develop increasingly articulated and radical political philosophies supporting active socialism and the overthrow of capitalist society and imperialistic regimes. The increasing involvement of Margaretta D’Arcy in the life and work of Arden appears to have contributed considerably to this development, whereas Bond’s insistent questioning of social power structures on the grounds of their threats to human integrity has led him to evolve his concept of ‘rational theatre’ (the expression of moral self-consciousness as characteristically — and perhaps too automatically and ‘self-evidently’ — identified by Bond with socialist consciousness) which he seeks to exemplify in his plays and identify in his essays. Arden and D’Arcy and Bond also share a fundamental interest in the individual’s attempted self-definition in the face of a predatory society which would mould him in its own functional, destructive image.

Keywords

Political Theatre Narrow Road Imperialistic Regime Political Drama Human Tragedy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Edward Bond, The Activists Papers in The Worlds (1980) p. 117.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John Russell Taylor, Anger and After (1969) p. 103.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    John Arden, Three Plays (1964) p. 81.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    John Arden, Plays: One (1977) p. 40.Google Scholar
  5. 16.
    John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy, The Hero Rises Up (1969) p. 76.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy, The Island of the Mighty (1974) p. 12.Google Scholar
  7. 20.
    John Arden, Two Autobiographical Plays (1971) p. 86.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    John Arden, Pearl (1979) p. 26.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    Malcolm Hay and Philip Roberts, Bond: A Study of his Plays (1980) pp. 116–17.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    Edward Bond, Lear (1972) p. 45.Google Scholar
  11. 28.
    Edward Bond, Bingo (1974) p. 7.Google Scholar
  12. 32.
    Edward Bond, The Fool (1976) p. 43.Google Scholar
  13. 37.
    Edward Bond, The Bundle (1978) p. 46.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Ian Rabey 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Arden
  • Margaretta D’Arcy
  • Edward Bond

There are no affiliations available

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