Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - English



First Advisor

Dr. Kevin West

Second Advisor

Dr. Ericka Hoagland

Third Advisor

Dr. Joyce Johnston

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Courtney Wooten


For centuries male-dominated societies have developed their own culturally constructed images of the socially acceptable and socially deviant mothers. The thesis explores how the Grecian, Caribbean, and Irish cultures of Euripides’ Medea (431 BC), Steve Carter’s Pecong (1990), and Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats (1998) respectively, all based on the Medea myth, commonly define the social deviant (m)other and condemn her for her “otherness.” It also discusses the limitations of each society’s decision to label the Medea-figure as socially deviant. Euripides creates an impossible dichotomy between the culturally constructed concepts of heroism and motherhood, which he locates in separate male and female personas. Medea must cast off the female persona in order to enact her revenge, whereas the adaptations of the play prove the embodiment of two gendered personas is unnecessary to react to the mistreatment they experience; such is the progress women have made since the fifth century.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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