A Response to Marguerite Duras’ “Agatha”
In “Agatha”, the stage directions evident within the performance offer a description of the two main characters that represent a union of both masculine and feminine love. Accordingly, the protagonists are seen at a point as materializing sternly with closed eyes “as mindless narrators of their own passion” (Duras 19). In the course of the play, the actors are indeed modified into depersonalized entities for the transcendent intensity that comes with the text. The fate of the characters is to be disbanded as they assert into the activity of reading which solely maintains their subsistence as performers. Additionally, the reading between both characters offers a profound look into the aspects of masculinity and femininity, which assume an imperative role in advancing the narrative on both characters’ apocalyptic love and desire for one another. For example, the affection that exists between the sister and the brother in the performance succeeds in affirming the archaic nature of the bond between the mother and the child. In this respect, the respective affirmation establishes the gender roles represented within the society inhabited by both characters. Simply, the mother-child bond, as the attraction between the mother, brother, and Agatha unswervingly contravenes the norms of the respective patriarchal society. The insistence on gender roles due to the aspects of masculinity and femininity further reveals the concerns that are present within the protagonists’ society. Due to the roles and mores established by the patriarchal order, the incestuous pair has been coerced to live by the norms of the society due to its authority over their actions. For instance, Agatha notes that, “they married us” (Duras 34). This assertion suggests that the character and her brother were denied of their innate subjectivity as well as agency.
Duras, Marguerite. Agatha. Paris: Minuit, 2011. Print.