ANGEL A Play in One Phase ; and, The "Mistake" of the Already Born: Towards a Connective Understanding Between 'Angel' and Tess of the D 'Urbevilles

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of International, Cultural and Community Studies


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Marcella Polain


'Angel' is a play in one phase (act), set in two contemporaneous worldsthe mundane (material) and the non-mundane (spirit)- in a garden in rural Western Australia, taking as its inspiration the Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D 'Urbevilles. Within the framework of exploring possessive, obsessive love between three generations of a dysfunctional family, two central ideas are being expressed through the play. The first is that the unborn child is always the mistake of the already born, and that each generation is destined to pay for the mistakes and repeat the patterns of the previous generation. The second comes from the words of Hardy himself that "love lives on propinquity but dies of contact". In the context of' Angel', I have chosen this to mean that the maintenance of love between family members relies on an intangible closeness that allows them space and freedom, rather than cloying dependency in which jealousy and possessiveness chokes off all other possibilities. The "mistake" of the already born: Towards a connective understanding between 'Angel' and Tess of the D'Urbevilles is an essay exploring linkages between my play and Hardy's novel, particularly in theme, language and characterisation. The essay uses Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's anatomy of the rhizome to explore the multiplicitous connections between the two as well as signalling the instability of relying on a fixed categorisation of play and/or novel.

Access Note

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