Guy Butler's Demea
a South African Princess against Apartheid
Keywords: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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