Sites of experience: myth re-vision at the end of the century

Frances Babbage

in Re-Visioning Myth

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719067525
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701782 | DOI:
Sites of experience: myth re-vision at the end of the century

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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This chapter examines two plays of myth re-vision, from Britain and Iceland, written at the cusp of the millennium: Sarah Kane's Phaedra's Love (1996) and Hrafnhildur Hagalín's Easy Now, Electra (2000). As the titles suggest, each has as its centre a myth in which a maternal figure is effectively placed on trial. The chapter discusses two ways – contrasting, yet not wholly unrelated – in which myths have continued to fuel work by younger writers, first considering the extent to which classical myth serves Kane's particular brand of British ‘in-yer-face theatre’. It then situates Hagalín's practice of myth re-vision within the context of contemporary ‘post-dramatic’ performance. Post-dramatic theatre foregrounds the material situation of performance, the problems inherent in representation and the artificiality of composition, to the point where dramatic action, understood in conventional terms, is radically undermined if never quite eradicated.

Keywords: plays; myth re-vision; Sarah Kane; Phaedra's Love; Hrafnhildur Hagalín; Easy Now; Electra; myths; in yer face; post-dramatic theatre

Chapter.  16200 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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