Edward Bond's version of Lear's story embraces myth and reality, war and politics, to reveal the violence endemic in all unjust societies. He exposes corrupted innocence as the core of social morality, and this false morality as a source of the aggressive tension which must ultimately destroy that society. In a play in which blindness becomes a dramatic metaphor for insight, Bond warns that 'it is so easy to subordinate justice to power, but when this happens power takes on the dynamics and dialectics of aggression, and then nothing is really changed'.
Edward Bond is one of the great British playwrights of the twentieth/twenty-first centuries. In 1965 his grim portrait of urban violence, Saved, in which a baby is stoned in its pram, aroused much admiration as well as a ban from the Lord Chamberlain. His provocative plays including Early Morning (1969), Lear (1971), The Sea (1973), The Fool (1975), Restoration (1981), Summer (1982), The War Plays (1985) and Olly's Prison (1992)] continue to arouse extreme responses from critics and audiences.
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