The Beauty Queen of Leenane Literary Elements

The Beauty Queen of Leenane Literary Elements





Setting and Context

Leenane - The cottage of Mag and Maureen in West Ireland.

Narrator and Point of View

POV is that of Maureen

Tone and Mood

Serious, Dramatic, Darkly Comedic, Violent

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist is Maureen. Antagonists is Mag

Major Conflict

Maureen desires to leave Leenane with Pato, but her mother interferes by burning his letter to Maureen.


Maureen tortures Mag to find out what the letter said from Pato, ultimately killing her Mother. Then Maureen imagines that she reconciles with Pato at the train station and she will be getting out of Leenane to live with him in America. But the truth is that she missed him, and he is married to a woman he danced with at his going away party. Maureen is left alone in Leenane assuming Mag's position in the rocking chair.


Mag complaining about Maureen burning her with hot oil foreshadows Maureen torturing her mother with the hot oil later in the play.


It is understated that Maureen only imagined her getting back together with Pato.


The play is an allusion to the isolation that can be created by the unnecessary neediness of a parent upon a child and the harm we inflict upon one another when our dreams don't come to fruition as we hoped.


The hot oil poured onto Mag by Maureen, Pato's impotence revealed, Maureen putting on Mag's sweater and sitting in her rocking chair.


Maureen has come to believe that her dream of getting out of Leenane are coming true, but paradoxically she's only imagined her reconciliation with Pato, she never made it to speak with him.


Ray's visit at the end of the play to see Maureen parallels his earlier entrance when he invited her to the play.


Mag and Maureen's isolation becomes personified in the rocking chair as it is a symbol of the isolation that they both have come to wear.

Use of Dramatic Devices

Mag's staying completely still while Maureen gives her speech about reconnecting with Pato, before falling onto the floor stiff and dead.

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