Margaret Eleanor Atwood: the Prison Topos as the Main Path of her Novel “Hag-Seed”

  • Darina V. Chmut Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
  • Tetyana V. Mykhed Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Keywords: Atwood, topos, prison, Foucault, Раnopticon.


The article is devoted to the analysis of M. Atwood’s novel “Hag-Seed”, which transfers the situation and issues of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" to the modern environment. The author literalizes the metaphorical meanings invested by the great bard, at the same time attaching her own metaphors to create a two-level text. An attempt is made to investigate the specifics of the author's use of the prison topos as a literary path to draw public attention to the existing problems of the penitentiary system, and to promulgate the role of theater in preparing convicted criminals to return to society and their successful integration. Atwood uses different types of imprisonment and restraint in her work, which correlates with Foucault's research in the field of control and supervision, as well as his heterotopology. Also, the emphasis on the psychological state of the hero makes it possible to consider the problem through the prism of D. Moran's theory of carceral space.

Author Biographies

Darina V. Chmut, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Institute of philology student

Tetyana V. Mykhed, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Doctor of Philology, professor at Foreign Literature Department


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