Ronald Harwood

Start Free Trial

THE TIMES, london

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 193

On the battlefield at night, a man cries out. Why? Because, he replies simply, "I had this vision; I saw God".

This is the difficult situation that confronts the characters in Private Potter [a television play by Mr. Ronald Harwood and Mr. Casper Wrede]…. Difficult obviously, but in what sense? Not, surely, in the way that the authors suppose. Whether or not there is any truth in what Potter says, whether he did have (or thought he had) a vision, his offence against Queen's Regulations is clear enough. The only question is whether or not he is fit to stand trial.

But in this play the superiors are almost as neurotic as Private Potter (always supposing he is neurotic, of course); in scene after scene voices are raised, wills clash, and everybody gets very worked up trying to decide if Potter is a lunatic or a saint—as though that made any difference from the Army's point of view. Only the intervention of … a down-to-earth Army surgeon with a thoroughly practical view of the situation prevented us from believing the whole world had gone mad.

"Battlefield Visionary," in The Times, London, April 7, 1961, p. 18.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access



Robert Pick