The Treatment of Myth in Modern Drama (1923-1950): Towards a Typology of Methods

Palouka, Aspasia. 2005. The Treatment of Myth in Modern Drama (1923-1950): Towards a Typology of Methods. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Between the years 1923 and 1950, a great number of plays employed myth as subject matter or theme. The thesis examines this phenomenon in relation: a) to the modernist movement and its fascination with myth and mythological motifs, b) in relation to the efforts of modernist artists to find means appropriate to non-naturalistic modes of expression.

Criticism up to now has surveyed myth-plays focusing on the thematic and ideological treatment of myths (psychoanalytic, religious, political, etc). This thesis proposes a new approach to this issue: it concentrates on techniques of incorporating myth in the structure of a play and on how myth functions within and through it. It identifies three prevailing techniques as methods. These methods form exclusive categories within the period under discussion. Therefore, plays are grouped according to method in order to explore a series of different dramaturgical strategies.

Each of the three methods itself reflects a self-conscious attitude towards myth. Therefore, the thesis does not limit itself merely to investigating methods of incorporating myths into dramatic structures. It also examines the ideological substratum
of those attitudes as they determine the discourses developed

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


modernist movement, myth-plays, dramaturgical strategies, ideological substratum



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2020 14:24

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:36


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