Kekis, Olga (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis examines three contemporary adaptations of Euripides’ Medea which reveal her as the ultimate subaltern heroine who comes face to face with imperial colonialism and through direct confrontation both regains her cultural identity and acquires a voice. In each adaptation Medea becomes Spivak’s barbarian subaltern Other and speaks. The plays examined are Heiner Müller’s Despoiled Shore Medeamaterial Landscapes with Argonauts (1983), Guy Butler’s Demea (1990) and Olga Taxidou’s Medea: A World Apart (1995). These plays were utilized as political texts in various postcolonial situations, and employed anti-imperialist discourses to adapt and appropriate the classical Medea as a postmodern, postcolonial protest narrative. A close reading demonstrates that Medea is Euripides’ quintessential tragedy of alterity and each adaptation raises issues of cultural and sexual difference, hegemony, as well as the colonial encounter within their own cultural and historical context. The key purpose of these adaptations is to shed an alternative light on Medea’s act of infanticide, and turn it into an act not against her children, or Jason as the individual who did her injustice, but against the hegemonic structure which allowed that injustice to happen and which she seeks to subvert.
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