Explain the issues involved in the conclusion of the play Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson)and account for Isobel's decision when she confronts her murderer. ( Lion in the Streets by...

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The play, Lion in the Streets sets out to expose the ongoing cycle of violence to which everyone is exposed and the potential for which exists in us all. The "lion" prowls and sometimes it "roars."

Isobel's seemingly random wanderings through other people's lives change her focus and the confused child searching for her home, her murderer and ultimately her peace lead the play to a conclusion that has invoked criticism and some detractors find the end most unsatisfactory with religious overtones in an essentially secular play. Thompson however recognizes the elements that make a whole person and for survival, there must be some good out there! The ability to NOT "cast the first stone," while Christian in essence, is a critical requirement for people to exist together.   

At the conclusion when Isobel can finally avenge herself and kill Ben, it is her ability to recognise her own "lion" as she struggles between a desire to strike him and an acknowledgement that, in doing so, she continues the cycle of violence. It is within her power to stop it and, after her "journey" and exposure to all that is wanton and basically evil, she has come to recognize the traits of others in herself and it is natural for her to do what is right. Isobel also recognizes that her murderer is himself a victim. "I love you."



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