The Accord of Discord: Reflections on Private Lives in Peter Shaffer’s Five Finger Exercise

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Dr. Vineet Maxwell David


Peter Shaffer holds a place of pivotal importance in Modern British Drama. The variety and complexities of life that Shaffer presents through his works, give us a good idea that he is a playwright who intends to further the representative nature of theatre as an agency of influence. The acute fidelity with which he perceives and deliberates upon life narratives remains a preserve in which the playwright influences his proficient talent to good use. He works upon aspects of human situations with a deep sense of purpose and understanding which bespeak of his merit as a playwright. Five Finger Exercise is a play by Peter Shaffer that stands as an important work in the formative years of his career as a playwright and contributes a notable standing to his oeuvre as a writer in the making. Paralleled in the reputation of the drama of the fifties with Look Back in Anger as a profound dramatic work, it is Peter Shaffer’s Five Finger Exercise that holds its ground as a work of incredible consequence about complexities of human ordeals. The ‘family’ and its private frontier remains a compelling subject for drama and it also seeks our renewed enquiry, one that is exemplified in the action of the play, Five Finger Exercise. The paper instils a vital seeking through an academic deliberation, accentuating a vigorous argument as to why it needs to recognised as an important work in English theatre history. It is the domain of the Harringtons’ family and their trials and turmoils that puts into question a consequential deliberation on beneath the surface reality of the family/domestic space. The paper also serves to explore the psychological and emotional dimensions of human behaviour and its treatment as part of the narrative which seeks to highlight Peter Shaffer’s perspicuity and his acumen as a writer.


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How to Cite
Dr. Vineet Maxwell David. “The Accord of Discord: Reflections on Private Lives in Peter Shaffer’s Five Finger Exercise”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 7, no. 3, June 2022, pp. 28-34, doi:10.53032/tcl.2022.7.3.04.
Research Articles


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