In this dissertation I examine the poetics of ghosting in nine Irish and Northern Irish dramatic texts. In these texts by Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Michael Duke, Brian Friel, Ben Hennessy, Frank McGuinness, Stewart Parker, and Vincent Woods, the ghost's story interrogates yet unites multiple narratives of history, identity, and memory. Together these plays represent a significant strain of Ireland's dramatic literature that dwells on historical trauma specifically through the figure of the ghost. Each chapter focuses on a historical event or problem as yet unresolved in the late 20th century: the historical remembrance and forgetting of Irish soldiers who served in World War One; the cycle of violence and trauma of the Troubles in Northern Ireland; and the home/scape that trapped women between the ideals of Mother Ireland and the everyday violences, disappointments, and impossibilities of actual motherhood. In the plays, the corporeal ghost is part of a past that has been invisibilized by stronger historical and political forces and thus makes its presence known in order to speak to, and as, the irresolvability of that past. A dramaturgy of ghosts and haunting emphasizes both a material manifestation and a collective haunting of the historical legacy of trauma. I argue that the ghost in dramatic representation points toward a cultural need to allow the conflicts of the past to remain unresolved, while the ghost also invites the imagining of a different future.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2012. Major: Theatre Arts. Advisor: Dr. Margaret Werry. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 294 pages.
Martinovich, Mary Katherine.
A poetics of ghosting in contemporary Irish and Northern Irish Drama..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.