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Bent Summary
Martin Sherman

Everything you need to understand or teach Bent by Martin Sherman.

  • Bent Summary & Study Guide

Bent Summary

Introduction

Martin Sherman's best-known work, Bent, fits in both the categories of gay literature and Holocaust literature. Prior to Bent, there had been virtually no inclusion of gays in discussions about the Holocaust. Therefore, it had a groundbreaking impact when it was first staged off-Broadway in 1978; an impact that continued when the play was performed in London the next year and then finally brought to Broadway. Although the play has flaws, the uniqueness of the story line and the strength of its message about tolerance, love, and human dignity made the play successful. In fact, it was nominated for both a Pulitzer and a Tony in 1980.

The time period of the play is also different from most other Holocaust literature. Rather than being set during World War II, the story begins in 1934 when Hitler's purge of his Storm Troopers (SA) coincidentally led to the persecution of gays since the head...

(read more from the Study Guide)

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