The Role Of Grania By Lady Gregory

1932 Words8 Pages
The role of the theatre during the Irish Literary Revival was central to Irish cultural nationalism and the political dynamics at the start of the 20th century. As a playwright and a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, Lady Gregory created the backbone of the group that drove the Irish cultural identity towards a more nationalist outlook. Yet as an Irish nationalist, her participation in political causes was often muted; not because of her political views, but because of her gender. Though Lady Gregory played a large part in the literary revival during the Irish nationalist movement, she was wary of rekindling a past that was built upon the oppression of women. This essay will discuss the influence Gregory’s early life on her works, the portrayal of women by other prominent male playwrights at the time, her depiction of women in her plays, and the characterization of the female character Grania. Using the play Grania, Lady Gregory explores possibilities for Irish women to defy gender…show more content…
Gregory's dramatic interpretation of Grania becomes rather more sympathetic and offers justification for her heroine's actions. According to author Maria-Elena Doyle in the article A Spindle for the Battle: Feminism, Myth, and the Woman-Nation in Irish Revival Drama., “Ultimately what Grania wants is social recognition, an acknowledgment that she matters to the world around her as a living individual rather than as an object of memory.” (Doyle 40) As a consequence, Grania's mental strength leads to her rejection of the patriarchal values within the community. She becomes more than a symbol for men to interpret, but a “...social being defined by her own actions and interactions.” (Doyle 39). By presenting a woman's decision to make her own path, Gregory alters the female standards of the Revival in a way that does little to support nationalist

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