Sarah Kane’s view of a “society built on violence and denial” (Sierz, 2001, p.120) necessitates the emergence of a new dramatic metaphysics within her plays. How does Sarah Kane use her metaphysical and psychological outlook as both a metaphorical and literal device to convey meaning in her work?

Hinks, Joseph (2009) Sarah Kane’s view of a “society built on violence and denial” (Sierz, 2001, p.120) necessitates the emergence of a new dramatic metaphysics within her plays. How does Sarah Kane use her metaphysical and psychological outlook as both a metaphorical and literal device to convey meaning in her work? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation aims to explore and discuss the work of playwright Sarah Kane from both metaphysical and psychological perspectives. Kane was a distinctly visceral and often scandalous writer who sadly committed suicide in 1999. The body of work left behind by Kane largely covers thematic extremities such as violence, war, death, sex, abuse, suicide and rape. This is strongly illustrated by her first play Blasted (1996), which remains surrounded in infamy because of the furore over the controversial content contained, which included shocking moments of on-stage sodomy and infanticide. Despite the debate surrounding the diplomacy of her writing for the stage, research for this dissertation has shown that she was a highly intelligent, deeply emotive and profoundly moralistic writer. Further study has also found that her writing was influenced largely by her own experiences of life, fuelled not only by a insightful philosophical view of the world, but a self-intrinsic method that consisted of delving deep into her own psyche for dramatic content. This dissertation proposes that the images in Kane’s plays are not to be taken literally, but are in fact metaphors of one person’s metaphysical perspective on the nature of existence in a world saturated with violence. Furthermore, the violence of her own psychopathology, which is plagued by bouts of severe depression, becomes a catalyst for a body of writing which steadily descends into a portrait of Kane herself. The content of this dissertation is largely achieved through textual analysis of Kane’s plays and academic studies of Kane herself, as well as interviews with Kane whilst she was alive. Further content explores metaphysics and similarly related strands of philosophy, theatre history, as well as epidemiologist’s perspectives on major depression, semiology, semantics and theatre linguistics.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/765

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