“Prison Theatricals”: Carcerality and Gender Perception in David Hwang’s M. Butterfly

Majid Salem Mgamis


This paper examines David Henry Hwang's drama, M. Butterfly, with view at highlighting the author's dexterity in employing metatheatricality and carcerality to insinuate his message represented in deconstructing gender identity. The play contains an embedded play, performed in a prison setting. Using Michel' Foucault's premises on the prison system, the paper shows how the theatre, just like the prison, functions as a "coercive" environment for learning and cognitive change. In their roles as actors (inmates) in the play (prison), the two major characters, Gallimard and Song, undergo a substantial change in the view of gender construction.


metatheatre, Foucault, feminism , gender politics, carcerality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.9n.2p.81


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