Investigating Voice and Agency in Caryl Churchill’s Selected Plays

Zahra Khozaei Ravari


Caryl Churchill’s plays have been studied from a number of perspectives. However, there have been few concerted attempts to investigate how the marginalized characters are given voice and agency to resist gender and class oppression as well as the issue of resistance to different kinds of oppression in her plays. Accordingly, this study aims to investigate these issue in two selected plays of Caryl Churchill Vinegar Tom (1976) and Top Girls (1982). This study employed Judith Butler’s definition of agency to examine whether the characters are able to exercise agency and overcome oppressive forces. Their granted voice in criticizing oppressive forces is also examined as a tool to identify their resistance against patriarchal agents. It is found that each of Churchill’s plays have revolutionary characters who resist oppressive forces in patriarchal societies that disadvantage them. Furthermore, this study extended the literature by discussing different forms of resistance to oppression in each play, and highlighting the fact that Churchill’s plays have similarities and differences in the strategies that the characters take in resisting oppression. It also noted that not all the characters are able to overcome oppression.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n4s2p409

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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