Medea Revisited: Marina Carr's By the Bog of Cats… and the Modern Defiant Mother


  • Jinan Waheed Jassim, Ph.D Mustansiriyah University College of Arts Department of English Language and Literature



modern Irish drama, patriarchy, Medea, Marina Carr


Marina Carr, one of the prominent Irish feminist playwrights, deviates from the mainstream patriarchal portrayal of women in her modern plays. She moves away from the stereotypical image of Irish mother as an emblem of the nation and the land, hence, seen as a selfless, loving, sacrificing woman who identifies herself with the motherhood. Instead Carr introduces broken, maltreated, and defiant women to the modern Irish stage. Her adaptation of the myth of Medea for her play By the Bog of Cats…is considered as a challenge to the classical Greek and Irish drama. Both Medea and Hester Swane are outsiders, betrayed by husbands, outcast from their homeland and community. Their search for identity and independence lead them to commit unspeakable actions. Yet, while Medea was driven by her desire to revenge on a betraying husband, Hester reacted to ongoing fear of abandonment and loss. This paper highlights Carr's talent in portraying modern ordinary mothers who defy the male-dominated society and seek a social status in her own right. Mothers who show an untraditional love for their children; a mother who are ready to sacrifice herself for the welfare of her daughter, saving her from a bleak future with a selfish father, dysfunctional grandmother, and immature step mother. Thus, Hester Swane represents new unconventional Irish mother who is willing to defy the norms to prove herself.


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How to Cite

Jassim, J. W. (2019). Medea Revisited: Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… and the Modern Defiant Mother. Lark, 11(4), 447-457.