VIRTUAL REALITY OF CONTEMPORARY CHILDHOOD IN THE PLACE BY BRITISH PLAYWRIGHTS
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Abstract: The article studies contemporary British plays “Faust is Dead” (1997) by Mark Ravenhill and «Killology» (2017) by Gary Owen. The playwrights in their works present a young generation of computer users, involved in digital technology and virtual reality. The aim of this research is to analyze dramatic children-characters interacting with cyberspace who are the object or doer of evil. A new type of a child-hero, which is represented in the plays by Owen and Ravenhill, is now called a «digital» child. The hero of the play “Faust is Dead” is a virtual child who exists only in the network space. Subjecting himself to violence and brutality, Donny tries to confirm his reality, as the experience of pain is supposed to be the only proof of existence of this child. In the article Mark Ravenhill’s “Faust is Dead” is compared with the poem «Faust» by N. Lenau. The plays by Ravenhill and Owen were written at the interval of 20 years, and computer equipment and users changed during those years. G. Owen in the play “Killology” shows real children, who were born in the digital era. The “digital child” in the play by Owen is fully associated with the virtual world and feels comfortable in such an environment. “Digital” child is characterized by the feeling of virtual omnipotence, which often develops into cruelty and propensity to violence. However, if the hero of Ravenhill’s plays was cruel to himself in order to become real, the characters of Owen’s drama, on the contrary, are cruel to their virtual victims. Owen’s heroes do not want to go beyond the borders of virtual reality. The article considers the dynamics of contemporary British Theatre of Cruelty on the instance of children-heroes.
Key words: VIRTUAL REALITY; PROTAGONIST; BRITISH PLAYWRITING; PLAYS; TOPIC OF CHILDHOOD; PLAYWRIGHTS; WRITING
Lovtsova, O. V. Virtual reality of contemporary childhood in the place by British playwrights / O. V. Lovtsova // Philological Class. – 2018. – №2 (52). – P. 159-164. DOI 10.26710/fk18-02-26.