The Renunciation, distortion and subversion of hegemonic discourses in Liz Lochhead’s plays

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: English

Student: Özge Yakut Tütüncüoğlu



This dissertation argues that Liz Lochhead challenges and reconsiders the patriarchal epistemological categories in her plays and creates an alternative space of existence which grants acknowledgement to women’s responses to the social and empirical reality by reworking the taken for granted notions of patriarchy. To this end, this dissertation analyzes Lochhead’s three plays Medea, Thebans and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped against the backdrop of Lacanian theory and yet attempts to transgress his entrapment in phallogocentricism by reading his epistemology subversively, re-employing the terms he has formulated and opening up an alternative feminine space, which, in the end, will direct this study towards a post-Lacanian position. In relevance to the aim of this study, Lochhead’s above-mentioned plays will be discussed so as to display the employment of language as a political and an ideological tool to construct realities, to give voice to liminal figures and to appropriate already existent categories in its own terms. Lochhead’s revisiting of European history and myths, and reconstructing them from a feminine and Scottish point of view through her fluid and decentred language engender an alternative space renouncing the hegemonic discourses embedded in language, out of which counter hegemonic ones arise. This dissertation comes to the conclusion that a global look at her plays testifies to her success in creating an alternative space, which subverts grand narratives, phallocentric history and its hegemony in artistic and dramatic production.