The Plague of the Working-Class: An Analytical Study in Steven Berkoff’s Greek

محتوى المقالة الرئيسي

Ahmed Rasheed Ibrahim
Prof. Nahidh Falih Sulaiman(Ph.D.)


The present study focuses on analyzing the play Greek (1980) by British playwright Steven Berkoff (1937-) from a Marxist point of view. Berkoff himself was a Marxist during the period in which he wrote Greek, so Marxist themes are prevalent in his plays. Berkoff used theater as a platform to highlight the worst problems of the society of London during the 1970’s, and to show the kind of life that working-class people were living. Berkoff took the main plot points of the play from the ancient Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, but modernized the setting and themes to resonate with modern audiences. The play used typical tropes from ancient Greek tragedies like the tragic hero and a disease that plagues the people.

The play tackles the biggest social problems at that time from the point of view of Berkoff. Since he was a Marxist, he critiqued the capitalist system that the working-class were living in. Berkoff also critiqued the working-class for being divided and not united against the system that oppresses them. 0The study concentrates on analyzing the Marxist identity of the characters of the play, and how it relates to their daily lives.

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