The Collapse of Heterosexism and Phallogocentrism in Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine
Caryl Churchill (1938- ) is one of the most illustrious contemporary British playwrights whose theatrical productions are world-widely acclaimed. Churchill’s theatrical innovations, her explorations with new forms, her double commitment to the causes of both socialism and feminism are among the reasons for which Churchill has been transatlantically awarded and acclaimed. In Cloud Nine (1978), that is going to be dealt with in the present study, what is intended to be undertaken is the analysis of the play on the basis of the Butlerian key concept of gender performativity in order to designate Caryl Churchill’s anti-heterosexist and anti-phallogocentric outlook. According to Judith Butler, who is regarded to be an eminent poststructuralist theorist, gender identity is not an interior essence of the subject. By considering gender as something fabricated, and thus performative, Butler calls into question the basis of Western civilization, which is totally phallogocentric and heterosexist. Butler’s performativity of gender identity, which reveals the baselessness of whatever Western Civilizaion centers on, is also something we can perceive in Churchill’s Cloud Nine.
Key words: Caryl Churchill; Judith Butler; Gender identity; Gender performativity; Phallogocentrism; Heterosexism; Binary oppositions
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