The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, adapted by Brian Sibley

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BBC Radio 7, 1-3 December 2009
In Brian Sibley's three-part adaptation the central character Bunyan (Anton Rodgers) was characterized as a Hertfordshire preacher thrown into jail in 1660 for disseminating seditious (i.e. Puritan) views, and recounting The Pilgrim's Progress as an allegory of his own suffering, to see whether he possessed sufficient strength - both mental and physical - to cope with his ordeal.
However the style of the adaptation seemed more reminiscent of Kafka rather than Bunyan. Christian the central character (Bunyan himself) was subjected to a series of temptations and/or ordeals. Sometimes he ran off the moral rails, but by trusting in God he emerged triumphant, a wiser if not stronger man. However several of the trials were staged with the help of eerie sound-effects, suggesting that the entire Pilgrim's Progress was a mental rather than a physical struggle. Christian was not being tempted by anything tangible; rather he endeavoured to sustain the power of rational thought against those who would deceive him with offers of untold power, wealth and/or lust. If he accepted such offers, he would have made the first step towards insanity. By trusting in God, he managed to protect himself against this.
This interpretation of Bunyan's classic was certainly coherent, especially in the post-Freudian era, where the life of the mind has become an object of intense interest, But I am not sure that it is entirely what the author might have wanted; he saw his work as continuing an honourable allegorical tradition stretching right back to medieval times, and including classics such as Arcadia and The Faerie Queene. Or maybe I am just being too pedantic.