Shakespeare as a Secularist in Bingo

Yan-Hua Xia


Edward Bond’s historical play Bingo, written in 1973, dramatically depicts Shakespeare as an exploiter and a suicide. It has given rise to lasting arguments in western academia ever since its première. Based on the focus of the disputes since the 1970s and the historical background of the enclosure movement, the characterization of this play is asserted through analyzing Shakespeare’s ethical dilemma in terms of his handling of financial temptation, family indifference and literary infertility from the perspective of ethical literary criticism. The play’s “alienation effect” and the tension of ethical interpretation generated by it are further discussed. By virtue of the above analysis, this paper advances a defense of Bond’s adoption of new historicism in writing.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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