John Beaufort

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 132

The little-publicized plight of homosexuals under the Third Reich is the avowed concern of "Bent."…

Whatever his intention, Mr. Sherman has trivialized his subject. Nazism's gross inhumanities were criminal acts, no matter who their victims might be. Rather than relating the sufferings of his characters to the larger agony of...

(The entire section contains 132 words.)

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The little-publicized plight of homosexuals under the Third Reich is the avowed concern of "Bent."…

Whatever his intention, Mr. Sherman has trivialized his subject. Nazism's gross inhumanities were criminal acts, no matter who their victims might be. Rather than relating the sufferings of his characters to the larger agony of the Holocaust, however, Mr. Sherman has composed a luridly sensational piece of special pleading. "Bent" includes scenes of sordidness, decadence, and offensive sexual explicitness. That the cynical Max ultimately demonstrates by self-sacrifice an asserted capacity to love in no way relieves the play's prevailing tone….

"Bent" reduces the Holocaust to sensationally twisted melodrama.

John Beaufort, "Bent," in The Christian Science Monitor (© 1979 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), December 21, 1979 (and reprinted in NY Theatre Critics' Reviews, Vol. XXXX, No. 22, December 17, 1979, p. 78).

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