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Violence and Commitment in Edward Bond’s Lear

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2020, 33(1), pp.291-317
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 15, 2020
  • Accepted : April 14, 2020
  • Published : April 30, 2020

Eonjoo Park 1

1State University of New York at Buffalo

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article presents the triangular relationship between the “aggro-effect” of violence that Edward Bond intends to instill in his rational theater, his dramatic work, Lear, and his position as a committed artist. Bond brings his theories of theater and violence to bear on his rewriting of Shakespeare’s King Lear by dramatizing how his version of Lear confronts violence and how its aggro-effect enables Lear’s enlightenment and change. In this way, Bond’s Lear displays and enacts the aggro-effect of violence through its very characterization of Lear. Bond’s technical employment of violence reveals his unique position as a committed artist. By carefully orchestrating violence in the theatrical situation, Bond values the vitality and interactivity that the public space of theater uniquely offers as a core element of commitment. Through interweaving the idea of commitment and the genre of drama, Bond’s explicit representation of violence does not fall into the uncritical consumption of vulgar excitement, but rather becomes the material for the audience to use to raise their consciousness and change their perceptions.

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