How does McDonagh make Scene 7 in 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' such a dramatic moment in the play?

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How does McDonagh make Scene 7 such a dramatic moment in the play?

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a comedy written by an Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, set in a quiet and picturesque Irish village Leenane, Connemara in the early 1990s. The play centres around the life of Maureen Folan, a 40-year-old woman who takes care of her 70-year-old, selfish and manipulative mother Mag. The sisters of Maureen had escaped into marriage and family life, “[her] sisters wouldn’t have the bitch. Not even a half-day at Christmas to be with her can them two stand”, but Maureen, with a history of mental illness, is trapped in a seriously dysfunctional relationship with her mother.

Scene 7 is the culmination of many years of animosity and hatred between Maureen and her mother Mag. At the start of the scene, we see Maureen try to taunt Mag in a sexually explicit way by telling her the things Pato did to her and fictitiously told her how she and Pato parted grounds, “Aye, a great oul time me and Pato did have. I did get what I did want out of Pato Dooley that night, and that was good enough for him, and that was good enough for me”.
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In this scene, McDonagh uses dramatic irony to great effect. Ray had entrusted Mag with the letter from Pato, telling Maureen that he is still in love with her and asks her to go to America with him. However Mag sees this as a great threat to her, as this would inevitably mean her going to a to an old age home, a fear she proclaims often during the play, “I’d die before I’d let meself be put in a home”. Because of this, she burnt this letter, and denied any existence of it. She also discovers the ...

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