Marina Carr’s Portia Coughlan Essay

Published: 2021-07-25 07:30:07
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Category: Poetry

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Later, she tornments Maureen with suspicious questions wanting Maureen to admit she is still a virgin although she is almost forty years old. When Maureen finds out that she did not receive the letter, she gets mad, angry and viscious and uses hot oil to burn her mother’s hand again. She leaves the old lady dying on the floor and goes to see Pato who is leaving for England again. The ending is ambiguous. What really happens to Mag, and how Maureen is disappointed, is not clear. The most plausible explanation is that Maureen suffered a second nervous breakdown.
The play makes one realise the power of human emotions. Maureen is obsessed with her virginity. She wants to have a man beside her. She wants to be an expert in man’s behaviour in bed. She wants her sexuality to be released, she wants to be a woman. However, she cannot, as she is sticked to her mother who abuses and tornment her everytime she sees her. Maureen’s anger is manifested through her violent behaviour – she offends Mag, she burns her hand with hot oil, she plays word games to make her mother angry and jealous.
Later on, we can find out that Pato is engaged to some Dolores, which makes Maureen realise she has no possibility to make her dreams come true. That causes another breakdown if she was ever recurred from the previous one. In the act of madness and anger ahe in fact kills her mother – or at least imagines doing it. And thus, her sexuality influenced her violence towards others. This is another case when a non-fulfillment of the sexual needs leads to a mad behaviour which results in physical and psychological violence. The fall of women into sexual problems, madness and violence is present in Irish literature.
Women, as being more vulnerable and introvertic, have a tendency to casual breakdowns which consequently may result in different dimensions of madness that leads to a cruelty and violence. Women are very sensitive concerning their sexuality, any rejection of it may have a terrible consequences – just as in cases above. Killing a child, killing herself or killing an old mother. All these women felt a terrible loss of something and a total dissatisfaction with themselves, their lives, their relationships or the lack of them. Such disenchantement can be an enormously dangerous matter.
Being disappointed, rejected and abandoned by those beloved ones, caused Hester, Portia and Maureen fall into madness. Not thinking clearly, they committed the deeds that destroyed them completely and had a major influence on others. Portia left her parents with no offspring and her husband with three young bouys who needed a mother, Hester killed her daughter whose father – Carthage – loved her enormously, and Maureen – this case is not so clear – asuming that she just imagined killing her mother which she did not do in reality, left an old woman with a mad, dangerous and obsessed daughter.
Thus, all three elements – sexuality, madness and violence are strictly connected here. There is no case where one of them can be excluded. As far as the Irish literature is concerned – madness, violence and sexuality are so often presented as they are close to a real life. And art is supposed to reflect every aspect of reality, no matter whether positive or negative. And it is easier to believe that a woman rejected by her beloved lover falls apart and into madness and takes a violent revenge on her oppressors, than in a romance that ends with a wedding. Real life does not use the phrase ” And they lived happily ever after”.

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