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MEDEA adapted: the Subaltern Barbarian speaks

Kekis, Olga (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Reilly, Kara
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English, Drama, and American and Canadian Studies
Subjects:N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:498
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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