Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play by Alexandra Poulain

By Alexandra Poulain

This publication discusses Irish ardour performs (plays that rewrite or parody the tale of the fervour of Christ) in glossy Irish drama from the Irish Literary Revival to the current day. It deals cutting edge readings of such canonical performs as J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, W. B. Yeats’s Calvary, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer and Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, in addition to of much less famous performs by way of Padraic Pearse, girl Gregory, G. B. Shaw, Seán O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Samuel Beckett and David Lloyd. not easy revisionist readings of the rhetoric of “blood sacrifice” and martyrdom within the Irish Republican culture, it argues that the eagerness play is a strong political style which centres at the staged demise of the (usually male) protagonist, and makes noticeable the often invisible violence perpetrated either by means of colonial strength and by means of the postcolonial nation within the identify of modernity.

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By Alexandra Poulain

This publication discusses Irish ardour performs (plays that rewrite or parody the tale of the fervour of Christ) in glossy Irish drama from the Irish Literary Revival to the current day. It deals cutting edge readings of such canonical performs as J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, W. B. Yeats’s Calvary, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer and Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, in addition to of much less famous performs by way of Padraic Pearse, girl Gregory, G. B. Shaw, Seán O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Samuel Beckett and David Lloyd. not easy revisionist readings of the rhetoric of “blood sacrifice” and martyrdom within the Irish Republican culture, it argues that the eagerness play is a strong political style which centres at the staged demise of the (usually male) protagonist, and makes noticeable the often invisible violence perpetrated either by means of colonial strength and by means of the postcolonial nation within the identify of modernity.

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The same drama of progressive endorsement of the sacrificial role is played out in The Singer, written during the run-up to the Rising. As we have seen, the story of he “winsome boy” points to an unsuccessful pedagogic venture in MacDara’s past, in which the motherly tutor fails to inspire his pupil with his sacrificial idealism. MacDara’s exile and series of trials, the crisis of faith he undergoes, all prepare him to take action and draw imperial violence upon himself. Throughout the play, he is constructed as both revolutionary leader and Christ figure destined for sacrifice.

43 devouring, blends into the image of the nourishing mother, so that by the end of the passage the figure of Christ merges with that of the bereaved mother, the Mater Dolorosa. A parodic Mater Dolorosa, that is, who has lost her child not to death but to a more banal life. MacDara’s sense of loss is superficially reminiscent of the Abbot’s sorrow at the end of The King, and yet it is of a completely different nature: for while Giolla dies a willing martyr, MacDara’s pupil merely deserts MacDara to return to his real mother.

Such is the task which the avant-gardes of the 31 32 Ibid. Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 169. 26 A. 33 What the villagers see in Christy is this “other inhuman” which resists the inhuman, normalising force of “development”34 and makes him appear as a potential force of change and re-enchantment of the world. ” (100) As Hélène Lecossois comments, “[f]or Dublin audiences in 1907 the spectre of a subhuman creature groaning in a ditch held an unmistakable resemblance and an uncanny association with the Great Famine of the 1840s.

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