An Exploration of Some Aspects of the Modern Grotesque in Kane’s Drama

Sara Setayesh, Alireza Anushiravani


Sarah Kane’s drama demonstrates modern fascination with the grotesque. In this study some aspects of the modern grotesque in Kane’s drama are discussed using some of Bakhtin’s, Kayser’s and McElroy’s findings to depict how modern grotesque represents the world as monstrous since although some critics have stressed the grotesque’s playful side, the moderns invested dread and fear into the concept of the grotesque. So the aim is to localize representative examples of the prime characteristics of the modern grotesque world and characters in Kane’s oeuvre. Some of the major issues relating to the modern grotesque discussed in this study are subversion and distortion of size, shape and symmetry, alienation of the familiar world and fusion of the realms and grotesque characters. Throughout Kane’s oeuvre the characters are deformed and disproportioned, there is a lack of organization and breaking with tradition, and the image of the familiar world is presented alongside the nightmarish, dark elements that break it apart. Furthermore, the individual is being determined in a world surrounded by dark, ominous forces with no emotions or intimate ties. The grotesque characters are also shown as threatened by mental disorders who occasionally attempt to withdraw into an idyllic or anchoritic existence.


Keywords: Sarah Kane; Drama, Modern Grotesque; Grotesque World; Grotesque Character; Kayser, Bakhtin; McElroy.

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