THE CHANGING PORTRAYALS OF GAY AND QUEER IDENTITIES IN JULIAN MITCHELL’S ANOTHER COUNTRY, JONATHAN HARVEY’S BEAUTIFUL THING AND MARK RAVENHILL’S MOTHER CLAP’S MOLLY HOUSE
Dirim Kılıç, Hande
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Even in the earliest and most coded forms, the representations of homosexuality in British drama reflected the social, political and cultural perceptions of homosexuality beyond the plays and contributed to their dissemination. From the early 1970s onwards, following the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the abolishment of the censorship, the representations of homosexuality in British drama changed swiftly, and after the first plays staged in the fringe theatres in the 1970s, gay plays started to be staged in the mainstream theatres in Britain. In this context, this dissertation aims at studying the changing portrayals of gay and queer identities in Julian Mitchell’s Another Country, Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing and Mark Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House by relating these plays to the social, political and theoretical discussions on gay and queer identities in the decades they were written in. In Chapter I, Julian Mitchell’s Another Country is analysed in terms of its representation of homosexuality as a repressed state that needs to be liberated. In Chapter II, Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing is discussed in relation to its presentation of gayness as a stable identity category which is recognized by the society. In Chapter III, Mark Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House is examined in terms of its deconstruction of gay identity and the creation of a queer culture. It is argued that the changing ways gay and queer identities are presented in these plays hold a mirror to the social, political and theoretical developments and discussions concerning homosexuality in Britain in the second half of the 20th century.