The Role Of Women In Grania By Lady Gregory

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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. The influence of Lady Gregory’s early life on her works, and her depiction of women, provides insight and acts as a contrast to the portrayal of women by other prominent male playwrights of her time and the characterization of the female character Grania. Using the play Grania, Lady Gregory explores possibilities for Irish women to defy gender expectations. To better understand Lady Gregory’s portrayal of women, it is essential to examine the effect of her early life on her works. Lady Gregory negatively characterizes her childhood years as silent, cold, and bound with strict religious piety. To recover from a life that was often suffocated by others, she later “created the means to insert herself into history” (Waters 24), and explores concepts of self determination and representation in her works. These concepts

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