Beyond ‘Good’ and ‘Evil

  • John Arden
  • Margaretta D’Arcy
  • Edward Bond


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.


Political Theatre Narrow Road Imperialistic Regime Political Drama Human Tragedy 
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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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