Staging Romanticism and Dissidence in Howard Brenton’s Bloody Poetry

Ramin Farhadi, Mohammad Amin Mozaheb


Staging history is an approach of historicism that is widely practiced by the post-1968 British playwrights. Historical playwriting not only helps to identify and unmask repressive power institutions, but also to question the conventional trends in writing history in general. One of these playwrights is Howard Brenton. By staging the history of romanticism in the early nineteenth century and the self-imposed exile of Romantic figures in his play Bloody Poetry (1984) Brenton attempts to achieve multiple purposes. By using literary analysis and historical reading, the researchers identify the causes of Shelley-Byron circle’s self-exile and the way in which a dissident discourse is formed as an opposition to the mechanism of disciplinary power and one of its powerful discourses which is journalism.  In addition to this, they explore Brenton’s main politics of representation of the role and function of poet-intellectual in public and how literature as a dissident discourse may function under the administration of Margaret Thatcher in the UK in the 1980s. 


Howard Brenton; Romanticism; Power; Dissidence; Intellectual; Thatcherism

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