Reconsideration of the intellectual resistance and degeneracy of the idealism in Howard Brenton’s Bloody Poetry

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Lecturer of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, I.R. Iran

2 M.A student of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literatures and Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, I.R. Iran


Howard Brenton as one of the controversial English dramatists of the May 1968 uprising attacks the power discourses in his plays. Demythologization and iconoclasm of the great figures and historical events are two dominant themes in his dramas. In this research, the researchers in light of historical studies attempt to depict how Brenton in his play Bloody Poetry (1984) and by dint of dramatization of the young Romantics—Shelley, Byron, Mary Shelley, and Claire Clairmont— draws a parallel between the degeneracy and disappointment of Romantic idealism and Brenton’s contemporaries and present intellectuals in order to scrutinize the deficiencies of intellectualism and its encounter with authoritarianism. In this respect, Brenton simply equates the authoritative government of Castlereagh of the early 19th century with the Neoconservative administration of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Thus, this research, too, explores the ineffectuality of the intellectual labour and the extant rift between intellectuals and the people that Brenton attempts to depict with the purpose of reforming the intellectual resistance, including the use of media, and making new bonds with the people.


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