Shakespeare and Twentieth-Century Irish Drama: Conceptualizing Identity and Staging Boundaries

1st Edition

Rebecca Steinberger

Published November 29, 2017
Reference - 130 Pages
ISBN 9780815397014 - CAT# K344708


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Exploring the influence of Shakespeare on drama in Ireland, the author examines works by two representative playwrights: Sean O'Casey (1880-1964) and Brian Friel (1929-). Shakespeare's plays, grounded in history, nationalism, and imperialism, are resurrected, rewritten, and reinscribed in twentieth-century Irish drama, while Irish plays, in turn, historicize the Subject/Object relationship of England and Ireland. In particular, the author  argues, Irish dramatists' appropriations of Shakespeare were both a reaction to the language of domination and a means to support their revision of the Irish as Subject. This study reveals that Shakespeare's plays embody an empathy for the Irish Other. As she investigates Shakespeare's commiseration with marginalized peoples and the anticolonial underpinnings in his texts, the author situates Shakespeare between the English discourse that claims him and the Irish discourse that assimilates him.

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