Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Languages & Literature

Abstract

This thesis focuses on Medea, the classical Greek play by Euripides that was first produced in 431 B.C., and its feminist, queer, and decolonial revisions in contemporary global contexts. These revisions include The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea by Chicana queer feminist author Cherríe Moraga and Black Medea by Indigenous Australian playwright Wesley Enoch. Common to these primary texts are themes of Medea’s madness and anger, which are tied to the fraught questions of home, nation, and the Other. Each section of this thesis focuses on a different play, analyzing the intersectional feminist politics of Medea’s madness across varying sociopolitical and historical contexts. While all the individual sections of this thesis develop a nuanced argument specific to the sociopolitical context of the play, the guiding theme throughout the thesis is that readers must interpret Medea’s madness through an intersectional feminist lens. Each section situates the play within its specific historical and geographical context and interprets Medea’s madness within that context. Ultimately, this thesis argues that the function of Medea’s madness is determined by her marginal, exiled locations as a woman and an ethnic Other within the domestic space and the nation-space. Reading the source text and the revisions through an intersectional feminist framework allows the reader to see how Medea must navigate “home” as a gendered, racialized, and/or nationalist space, as well as a discursive construct.

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