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Rites Criticism

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Rites received less attention from reviewers than Duffy's novels from the same period, such as Wounds (1969) and Love Child (1971). In general, Duffy's work in the theatre has been overshadowed by her achievements in other forms, including nonfiction as well as fiction. However, Rites has attracted attention from a number of feminist scholars. In her collection of essays on lesbian writers, Jane Rule's judgment of Rites is somewhat negative. She argues that the play "reduces people to objects, stereotypes of all the ugliness of heterosexual women whose revenge is ultimately self-destruction.... It is hard to escape feeling an indictment against women, rather than simply against labels."

Elizabeth Hale Winkler, in "Three Recent Versions of the Bacchae," discusses Rites in terms of the play that inspired it, Euripides's The Bacchae. She reaches the conclusion that Duffy's "overall conclusions are decidedly negative." Winkler points out that although Duffy critiques the stereotyping...

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This section contains 330 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rites Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Rites from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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