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The place of Wales: Staging place in contemporary Welsh drama in English. / Alexandra Victoria von Rothkirch und Panthen
Swansea University Author: Alexandra Victoria von Rothkirch und Panthen
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This thesis discusses discursive constructions of place, which are seen to largely replace essentialist constructions of place, in contemporary Welsh drama in English (1979-2003). Place is seen as a particularly important structural element both of constructing reality in Wales and of replicating th...
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This thesis discusses discursive constructions of place, which are seen to largely replace essentialist constructions of place, in contemporary Welsh drama in English (1979-2003). Place is seen as a particularly important structural element both of constructing reality in Wales and of replicating that reality in the theatre. The relatively new critical shift towards an interest in place in Western cultural criticism contributes, it is argued, to a new 'structure of feeling' (Raymond Williams) in the writing of new Welsh plays in the English language. The first chapter deals with the way in which the literary realistic paradigm, which had dominated Welsh playwriting in English from the beginning of the twentieth century, is slowly being superseded by other, often non-realistic, forms of representation. The second chapter deals with selected plays of Die Edwards. It interrogates the innovative ways this playwright constructs place and uses language to represent his highly politicised reading of Welsh reality. The third chapter focuses on selected plays written on historical themes and place. The chapter interrogates motivations to write history drama and the different forms history plays have taken in recent Welsh drama in English. The fourth chapter deals with gendered readings of place. Selected plays and two performances are discussed on the basis of a reading of Luce Irigaray's theory of 'woman as place.' The final chapter approaches place from a theoretical angle that unites the postcolonial paradigm and the new concept of sustainability. It is argued that, despite the shortcomings of the central tenets of postcolonial theory when applied to Wales, the framework of postcolonial theory offers valuable new ways of reading place in Welsh drama in English. A bibliography is attached.
Theater.;British & Irish literature.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences