A Sleep of Prisoners


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In A Sleep of Prisoners, Mr. Fry investigates dramatically the problems of four prisoners of war. Locked up in a church in enemy territory, the men find that both personal and general conflicts become more explosive in confinement. One soldier loses his temper and half strangles his friend.

In succeeding dreams each prisoner demonstrates his inner response to the events, extending himself, his companions and the problems they face on to a spiritual plane. The immediate surroundings suggest Biblical protagonists to the dreamers, and the attempted murder is seen successively in the stories of Cain and Abel, David and Absalom, and Abraham and Isaac. The general situation is seen by the fourth dreamer reflected in the story of Shadrac, Meshac, and Abednego.

The play develops themes Mr. Fry has dealt with successfully in The Firstborn. The main interest here is incisive exploration into how men see themselves, each other, and the struggle of the world to find a meaning and a progress.

Republished from the original by Phoebe Seiders.







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