Problematizing The Notion of Life : Edward Bond’s “Lear” As A Study In Biopolitics And Nihilism

Authors

  • Anindita Bhattacharya Independent Researcher 25/2, Prince Gulam Mohammad Shah Rd. Kolkata-700095

Abstract

Edward  Bond’s  ‘Lear’  offers  an  alternative  perspective  on  a  celebrated Shakespearean  play  as  an  interaction  between the  complex  mechanisms  of  social  forces  and  power  relations  in  a  highly  politicized  and  contemporary  version  of  “King  Lear”.  Lear in Bond’s play is essentially a despot.  The supreme authority over a people;  controlling  the  forces  of  life,  livelihood  and  labour. Unlike  its  Shakespearean  counterpart,  Bond’s  version  of  the  original  focuses  greatly  upon  the  various  social  roles  that  men  in  a  society  play  and  how  their  relationships  with  the  sovereign  and  with  each-other  constitute a  pattern  in  the  existing  power  structures.  The precepts of ‘Biopower’  or  the  power  of  subjugating  bodies  and  controlling  populations  and  ‘Biopolitics’  or  the  idea  of  a  political  body  encompassing  the  moral  and  political  existence  of  man  into  the  scope  of  governance, proposed  by  Michel  Foucault,  are  of  paramount  import  here.  While  Foucault  is  of  the  opinion  that  ‘Biopolitics’  is  essentially  about  good  governance,  Giorgio  Agamben  disagrees  and  shows  how  ‘Biopolitics’  can  lead  to  ‘Thanatopolitics’  or  the power of  controlling  man’s  death  and  hence,  life.  This  article  sets  out  to  study  “Lear”  in  the  light  of  the  of  Biopolitics/Thanatopolitics  in Bond’s retelling of the tragedy of  King Lear.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Anindita Bhattacharya, Independent Researcher 25/2, Prince Gulam Mohammad Shah Rd. Kolkata-700095

   

Downloads

Published

2017-09-19

How to Cite

Bhattacharya, A. (2017). Problematizing The Notion of Life : Edward Bond’s “Lear” As A Study In Biopolitics And Nihilism. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 4(3), 9. Retrieved from https://ijellh.com/OJS/index.php/OJS/article/view/1206