Skip to main content Skip to navigation

This Blasted Heath

Much of Cormac McCarthy’s work reads like a play through his use of melodrama and a heightened register, whilst his arrangement of conversations, often dispensing with punctuation altogether, can read as dualogues set apart from the main body of the text. Like his literary forebear, Herman Melville, McCarthy’s prose also breaks into monologue frequently, bearing the influence of Shakespearean tragedy, particularly in some of his most praised work, such as Blood Meridian, which we suggest bears the influence of Macbeth in its exploration of a landscape saturated by blood within ‘this blasted heath’. The Road also bears a strong resemblance to The Tempest, in the central exploration of a parent-child dynamic where the balance of power fluctuates, the exploration of a future world that is both supernatural and unsettlingly recognisable and, finally, in its position, as with Shakespeare and The Tempest, within McCarthy’s canon of work as one his most reflective works on his own role as a writer near the end of his career.

Regular updates are availavle on our blog 'This Blasted Blog', which can be found at For further information follow us on Twitter @ThisBlstedHeath and find us on Facebook at

A filmed final report for this project can be found below.

Sophie Monk, Ronan Hatfull and Mia Hewitt