National Identity in the Dramatic Works of Yeats, Synge and O'Casey

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 110 pages
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Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,85, Technical University of Braunschweig (Englisches Seminar/Abteilung fur Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaften der Terchnischen Universitat Braunschweig), 63 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: "There is no great literature without nationality, no great nationality without literature" (John O'Leary) Although the high age of imperialism is thought to have started in the late 1870s, this does not hold true for English-speaking areas. Ireland, having been colonised by the English well over seven hundred years before, is an exception as England's oldest colony. In the course of time, all native features of the Irish, above all their Celtic history, had to give way to the colonisers' equivalents. It was not until the nineteenth century that the Irish developed a new national consciousness. It eventually enabled them to lay claim to their native history, religion and language as well as their national identity embodied in all of these aspects. In this respect, the Irish Literary Revival is particularly decisive since its writers dedicated themselves to a new way of dramatic expression. This thesis focuses on the three key writers of the literary movement William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), John Millington Synge (1871-1909) and Sean O'Casey (1880-1964). While concentrating on a revival of the Irish past, each spreading their own version of Irishness throughout the theatres, they helped Irish literature to become Irish, to become national again.
 

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Contents

Influential groupspersons prior to the Irish Literary Revival
13
Yeats and the literary movement in Dublin
23
The first national dramatic writings of the Irish Literary Theatre
35
John Millington Synge the enfant terrible of the Abbey
62
Sean OCasey the postwar playwright
80
A nation and its theatre are born out of conflict
93
List of illustrations
102
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Page 63 - Give up Paris. You will never create anything by reading Racine, and Arthur Symons will always be a better critic of French literature. Go to the Aran Islands. Live there as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression.
Page 28 - We propose to have performed in Dublin, in the spring of every year certain Celtic and Irish plays, which whatever be their degree of excellence will be written with a high ambition, and so to build up a Celtic and Irish school of dramatic literature.
Page 28 - We will show that Ireland is not the home of buffoonery and of easy sentiment, as it has been represented, but the home of an ancient idealism.
Page 74 - It's Pegeen I'm seeking only, and what'd I care if you brought me a drift of chosen females, standing in their shifts itself, maybe, from this place to the Eastern World?
Page 61 - All that I have said and done, Now that I am old and ill, Turns into a question till I lie awake night after night And never get the answers right. Did that play of mine send out Certain men the English shot?
Page 58 - They shall be remembered for ever, They shall be alive for ever, They shall be speaking for ever, The people shall hear them for ever.
Page 85 - On a little bye-road, out beyant Finglas, he was found. [MRS. BOYLE enters by door on right; she has been shopping and carries a small parcel in her hand. She is forty-five years of age, and twenty years ago she must have been a pretty woman; but her face has now assumed that look which ultimately settles down upon the faces of the women of the working-class: a look of listless monotony and harassed anxiety, blending with an expression of mechanical resistance. Were circumstances favorable, she would...
Page 74 - I'll say, a strange man is a marvel, with his mighty talk; but what's a squabble in your back-yard, and the blow of a loy, have taught me that there's a great gap between a gallons story and a dirty deed.

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