Synopsis Lessons in Love and Violence

Read the story of Lessons in Love and Violence

THE SITUATION

The King lives in a close but uneasy relationship with his wife, Isabel, his two children, and his lover, Gaveston, a man that the people fear and hate. With the country on the brink of famine and civil unrest, the King’s military advisor, Mortimer, a utilitarian who believes that all forms of love are ‘poison’, accuses him of political irresponsibility. On an impulse, the King banishes Mortimer, setting off a chain of devastating events.

THE SCENES

PART ONE

SCENE 1
The banishment of Mortimer.

SCENE 2
At Mortimer’s instigation, Isabel is forced to confront the destitution and anger of the people, and agrees to the murder of Gaveston.

SCENE 3
The King asks Gaveston to predict his – the King’s – future. At a private entertainment, Gaveston is seized.

SCENE 4
On learning that Gaveston has been killed, the King rejects Isabel, leaving him fatally isolated.

PART TWO

SCENE 5
Mortimer and Isabel set up house together. They groom the King’s son to be puppet-king.

SCENE 6
Mortimer visits the King in prison and persuades him to abdicate in his son’s favour. Soon after this, the King encounters death.

SCENE 7
The King’s son breaks free from the control of his mother Isabel. Before an invited audience, he restores order.

Martin Crimp

Lessons in Love and Violence