Talet och tystnaden : en studie av samhällsstrukturer och begär i Sarah Kanes "Phaedra's Love"

by Mårsell, Maria

Abstract (Summary)
This essay is an introduction to the intentions and purposes of the british play writer Sarah Kane (1971-1999). Her own voice is presented both via quotations linked to her work and by an explanation of her connections to the surrealist poet and actor Antonin Artaud. The main focus is on Kane’s second play, Phaedra’s Love, first performed in 1996. The play is analyzed in co-relation to La volonté de savoir, the first volume in Michel Foucault’s trilogy Histoire de la sexualité. The analysis concentrates on how the structures in society control and act in relationship to and in collision with desire.In La volonté de savoir Michel Foucault presents the thesis that there exists a special talk about sex and sexuality. A talk that states that these are repressed issues. Foucault asserts that such a talk originates from several discourses and institutions in society and together they constitute a chain of power. In his analysis Foucault examines why we declare ourselves as oppressed and what consequences that generates. This essay relies heavily on an inquiry of these consequences and its discourses. The theories of Foucault are applied to Phaedra’s Love and explain the scenarios in which the social discourses of power collide and how they try to affect the characters and their desire. Together they make clear, that desire, in the play, is not primarily related to sex and sexuality. It is rather a desire; the object of which is the state of self-governed individuality. A need for an individual space in the discourses of talk. The main characters, Phaedra and Hippolytus, changed attitude concerning talk and silence result in a powerful social reaction. They both riot against a structure which maintains the standard discourses of power and knowledge. The riot is to be read as the final outcome of the society that surrounds them. The social reaction that comes with this exposes that the controlling discourses of power ultimately are based upon, not talk, but violence.Several other aspects are of importance for the analysis and its conclusions even though they are not pointed out in this abstract. The play Phaedra’s Love and Foucault’s theories both operate on numerous levels at the same time, and as a whole, they both present experiences they wish the spectator/reader will reflect upon.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Södertörns högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sarah kane pheadra s love michel foucault antonin artaud desire discourse talk


Date of Publication:01/30/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.