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Anxiety of Existent ahead of Ex-sistence: Focused on Ironbound

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2024, 37(1), pp.31-57
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 24, 2024
  • Accepted : April 7, 2024
  • Published : April 30, 2024

Kim Young Ji 1

1강원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to analyze Martyna Majok’s Ironbound(2015), and learn about the active way of life and existential attitudes implied in the work. The thesis is developed based on an analysis of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time(Sein und Zeit, 1927). The play’s protagonist, Darja, is a character who is thrown into the world. Although she hears an inner voice that tells her to resist the given reality and create her own future, she is unable to overcome the feelings of fear and anxiety that accompany it and succumbs to a passive life. It is her understanding of death that leads her to recognize the infinite possibilities of existential existence and to decide to move on to a new life. Facing death, which holds only the possibility of impossibility, paradoxically tells us that we exist in a world where only possibilities are possible. By not arranging the plot structure of the play according to the passage of time, Ironbound creates a circular principle on the stage that is contained in the temporality granted by death. The artist intentionally interrupts the flow of the plot by arranging 22 years in a non-linear timeline. However, this suggests that all the situations in the play are centered on the ‘here-and-now’. The protagonist’s life is being played on stage, but it is a frozen time, and only the sameness of evasion is being repeated. The playwright aims to remind the audience/reader that the stage they are gazing at is their past, present, and possibly their future, creating an opportunity for them to reconsider their own existential meaning.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.