Guy Butler's Demea

a South African Princess against Apartheid


  • Marta Villalba-Lázaro Universidad de las Islas Baleares



Postcolonial drama, myth criticism, Medea, Demea, Guy Butler, apartheid


While the relation between classical mythology and postcolonialism may appear as an inconsistency, many postcolonial writers identify postcolonial issues in the literary reception of the classics, and look back to classical mythology and their own precolonial myths to gain a better understanding of their present. In the intersection of myth criticism and postcolonialism, this article discusses Guy Butler’s Demea, a postcolonial drama written in the 1960s but, due to political reasons, not published or performed until 1990. Butler’s play blends the classical myth of Medea with South African precolonial mythology, to raise awareness of the apartheid political situation, along with gender and racial issues.



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Author Biography

Marta Villalba-Lázaro, Universidad de las Islas Baleares

Marta Villalba is a PhD Assistant Lecturer at the UIB. She tutors final degree projects and teaches English and literature. She has a PhD in Philology, (2018), a BA of Law (1986) and English Philology (2013) a Master in Modern Languages ​​and Literatures (2014- UIB and Bangor University). She developed her career as a lawyer at EY (former partner).


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How to Cite

Villalba-Lázaro, M. (2022). Guy Butler’s Demea: a South African Princess against Apartheid. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 29, 131–149.