The effects of external action and its relation to the theme of war in plays by Sean O'Casey

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Flora Faye Helms Griffin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Alan Price

Abstract: This paper is an attempt to deal with one outstanding aspect of Sean 0'Casey's dramaturgy—the use of external action. The element of external action appears often in O'Casey's drama and has important qualifications for each play in which it appears. While external action is not apparent or important in all of O'Casey's play.-?, it appears in all four of his earliest successful plays and reappears often in the later ones. Thus external action is widely used, its possibilities fully explored by 0'Casey. It appears in both comic and tragic situations and is used for several different purposes, for comic effect, ironic comment, and a juxtaposition of comedy and pathos. While external action is a method which 0'Casey uses in many of his plays, this paper is mainly concerned with its effects on a specific group of plays, the seven plays based on a theme of war or violence: The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, The Plough and the Stars, The Silver Tassie, The Star Turns Red, Red Roses for Me, and Oak Leaves and Lavender. These plays cover a period from 1913 to World War II, and two types of conflict: civil disturbance in Gunman, Juno, Plough, Star, and Red Roses, and world war in Tassie and Oak Leaves. O'Casey's treatment of these conflicts varies according to the events and his own involvement in or detachment from them.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1969
O'Casey, Sean, $d 1880-1964 $x Criticism and interpretation
O'Casey, Sean, $d 1880-1964 $x Knowledge $x War
War in literature

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