Kill Like Medea, but with Love this Time: Marina Carr’s Take on Filicide in By the Bog of Cats

Dimitris Kentrotis-Zinelis


This paper discusses Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats, an Irish theatrical play that is a loose adaptation of Euripides’ Medea. Originally staged at the Abbey Theatre on the 7th of October 1998, By the Bog of Cats is Marina Carr’s most renowned and oft-performed theatrical play today. Carr borrows and reworks the deadly myth of Medea, namely the story of a mother who kills her children as a form of revenge against her husband. Carr transposes the myth to the rural Midlands of Ireland, bringing a tragedy originally performed in 431 BC to a contemporary Irish setting. Placed into this new context, what stands out in Carr’s adaptation in relation to the ancient precursor is Carr’s profound take on filicide. Leaving aside notions of retribution and jealousy typically assigned to Medea, filicide, in Carr’s hands, transforms into a radically liberating force.


20th-century Irish theatre; Irish Studies; Classical reception; Greek tragedy; Marina Carr

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Dimitris Kentrotis-Zinelis

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Postgraduate English is hosted by Durham University, Department of English Studies, UK. Unless otherwise specified, all articles published from 2000-2011 inclusive are copyright Durham University. All articles published from 2012 onwards are copyright of the author(s). All articles from 2012 onwards are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 licence.

Please view the privacy notice for details on how we process your personal data: Privacy Notice.

ISSN: 1756-9761

Durham University