The Representation of Rape in the work of Sarah Kane, Eve Lewis and Marina Carr"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The representation of rape on the stage is complicated by the presence of the performing body in the theatrical space and time. The issue therefore arises of what is represented and how it can be represented, so that the bodies and movements of the actors communicate an experience of violation rather than a physical assault. This representation generally identifies rape as a violent expression of power, rather than as a sexual act, and it places the experience within contexts of familial violence, social class, and articulacy. This paper looks at the representation of rape in the plays of Marina Carr and Sarah Kane, looking in particular at On Raftery’s Hill and Blasted, to explore the relationship between language and the representation of rape on the stage. These plays represent rape and sexual violence in a range of contexts, including incestuous rape and male rape. Carr’s controversial play ends with the central character, who has been raped by her father, adopting the language of the family group and deciding to remain within that group. Furthermore, the act of rape, though clearly and violently communicated to the audience, is not enacted naturalistically. In Kane’s play, similar relationships fluency and violence make use of language to reinforce sexual power relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2007
EventWomen Writing Rape: Literary and Theoretical Narratives of Sexual Violence -
Duration: 28 Apr 2007 → …


ConferenceWomen Writing Rape: Literary and Theoretical Narratives of Sexual Violence
Period28/04/07 → …


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