International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss


In Search of a Voice of Her Own: Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Grace of MaryTraverse
Prof. Dr. A. Deniz BOZER

Timberlake Wertenbaker, one of the most outstanding of contemporary British woman dramatists, wrote The Grace of Mary Traverse (1985) while she was Resident Writer at the Royal Court Theatre, an institution well-known for its long-standing support of hopeful young dramatists. Like most of Wertenbaker’s other plays, The Grace of Mary Traverse, is set in the past, in this case the late eighteenth-century; however the past is only used as a critical tool to comment on the present. The Grace of Mary Traverse illustrates the venturesome quest of its daring heroine, Mary, for knowledge and experience, hence a voice of her own, and an identity. Mary’s quest takes her from the protected yet suppressive domestic sphere of her father’s house, to the public domain, that is the streets of London, where women are often subjected to patriarchal oppression. There,she encounters all kinds of decay, eventually partaking in the corruption herself. In this paper it will be discussed, with reference to feminist theory, to what extent Mary has been succesful in acquiring a voice of her own.

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