Gender Roles In Lady Gregory

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How Lady Gregory Defies Gender Expectations
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 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. Using the play Grania, Lady Gregory explores
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In the article, Lady Gregory’s Grania: A Feminist Voice, author Maureen Waters discusses Lady Gregory’s early life and its impact on writing Grania and other works. Lady Gregory negatively characterizes her childhood years as silent, cold, and bound with strict religious discipline. To recover from a life that was often suffocated by others, she “created the means to insert herself into history” (Waters 24), and therefore explores concepts of self definition and representation. Through the multiple drafts of Lady Gregory’s Grania, Lady Gregory develops the concept of the eponymous female character, Grania. In Lady Gregory’s earlier drafts, Grania is protrayed the conventional innocent female, who is dependent on males, and who wants to remain in a secure environment. However, Gregory began to focus on Grania 's “...precise recognition of the common root of jealousy and egotism that unites Finn and Diarmuid.” (Waters 14). Grania’s epiphany reflects Lady Gregory’s personal response against the cliches regarding femininity. This recognition, is a key element in Grania’s transformation in the final version as a heroine. Later in the play, Waters suggests that Grania becomes an authority figure. Stunned
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