|dc.description.abstract||This thesis investigates two violent plays by the London-born playwright Martin McDonagh,
The Lieutenant of Inishmore and A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter. Considering these texts from
a post-colonial and phenomenological perspective, this thesis investigates how violence
operates within each text. Chapter One opens by establishing the playwright’s attitude towards
theatre. The thesis then defines working parameters for post-colonial theatre, presence,
phenomenology and violence. A literature review is then undertaken to outline the current field
on the playwright.
Drawing on the breadth of scholarly research already established, Chapter Two examines
violence in McDonagh’s 2001 play The Lieutenant of Inishmore. This chapter reveals the
farcical structure which contains the play’s violence. Using this, the thesis considers how this
alters the representation of the characters committing the violence. Chapter Two considers the
justification of violence within the colonial context of the play and the phenomenological
aspects which illuminate different aspects of violence within the text.
Chapter Three approaches McDonagh’s 2018 play A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter from a
similar angle and investigates the justification of violence, its colonial context and nineteenth
century Dickensian sentimentality. Because of the sparse academic research on this play, this
thesis compares and extends ideas using the conclusions reached in Chapter Two.
Lastly, the fourth chapter draws conclusions about McDonagh’s significant use of
dismemberment, the presence of violence within language and unique aspects of theatre to
determine how violence is operating in the respective texts. The thesis then proposes an answer
to why McDonagh may be choosing to return to a medium he has expressed distaste for||