This essay engages with dramatic representations of womanhood in the Irish context during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Lacanian theory is used in conjunction with Irish women’s studies scholarship in order to inform the analysis of plays by dramatists including Maud Gonne, Padraic Colum, Lennox Robinson, and T. C. Murray. The aim is to show how women in Irish society were faced with the impossible task of fulfilling such idealized roles as Woman, Wife and Mother, and how this situation was variously represented and contested in the theatre.


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