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Constructing and Deconstructing National Identity

Dramatic Discourse in Tom Murphy’s "The Patriot Game</I> and Felix Mitterer’s "In der Löwengrube</I>


Birgit Ryschka

The aim of this study was to expose the constructed nature of national identity in two dramatic texts: The Patriot Game (1991) by Irish playwright Tom Murphy and In der Löwengrube (1989) by his Austrian counterpart Felix Mitterer. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach combining linguistics, literature, history and cultural studies, this thesis looked at similarities and dissimilarities in the construction and deconstruction of national identity in the two plays. Ruth Wodak et al.’s linguistic approach developed in the work on Critical Discourse Analysis describing the construction of national identity in non-literary texts provided a framework, which has been modified for the analysis of the two dramatic texts under consideration.
Contents: Historical Context: The Emerging of National Identity in Ireland and Austria in the Early Twentieth Century – The Role of Drama in the Construction of National Identity – Searching for the Soul: Tom Murphy and Felix Mitterer – Dramatic Discourse – Tom Murphy: The Patriot Game – Felix Mitterer: In der Löwengrube – Reconstructing National Identity in Drama: In der Löwengrube and The Patriot Game Compared.