0 14 2012

The Sacred Dragon in the Woods: on Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem

Julia Boll

Abstract


This article will trace how Jez Butterworht's play Jerusalem (2009) portrays, in Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron, the figure of what Giorgio Agamben calls the homo sacer, the bare life, as a character that encapsulates both the scapegoat and the monster, and on which the dreams and the fears of the community equally settle (Agamben, passim). His liminal state of being signifies the watershed between accepted and unaccepted, desired and undesired, and ultimately between disenfranchised and free. In this way, the play is revealed as a depiction not only of the state of England, but of how contemporary societies treat their outcasts.

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ISSN 1749-9771