King Lear, a play written by William Shakespeare in about 1605, is the original source of Bond's adaptation In essence, Bond's play is not a rewriting of Shakespeare's play but a reaction to that text, particularly to Shakespeare's portrayal of King Lear and his three daughters.
Saved, Bond's 1965 play, also focuses on the violence of today's culture. As in Lear, Bond's use of onstage violence is extreme, but his focus this tune is on the contemporary working class.
Mother Courage and Her Children, a play written by Bertolt Brecht in 1939, also focuses on the horrors of war. As in Lear, the fact that the ruling regime changes does not matter. The people continue in their poverty and degradation. Like Lear, the character of Mother Courage suffers greatly, but she does not change because of her suffering.
The Wall (1979) is a concept album by the group Pink Floyd. Its story deals with a disillusioned rock star who, through various events in his life, constructs an imaginary wall between himself and the rest of the world. Within his mind the wall becomes a real barrier that he must destroy to once again join humanity. The work was also adapted as a film by director Alan Parker.
The Prince, by Renaissance philosopher Nicolo Machiavelli, is a classic discourse on the proper way to rule, marked by its emphasis on the need for a ruler to maintain power by all means necessary, including violence and cruelty.