By John O'Riordan
An in depth consultant and research of playwright Sean O'Casey's works - performs and Playlets- through John O'Riordan. Touches on 23 of his O'Casey's works.
Read Online or Download A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars PDF
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Additional info for A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars
Quicksilver changes in delineation of human character from braggart to coward - represent the triumph of dramatic artistry and strength. One ofO'Casey's strongest features- as Lady Gregory, in her Journals, has highlighted - is his characterisation; one American scholar, Professor Bernard Benstock, has devoted an entire study, appropriately entitled Paycocks and others, to the dramatist's memorable charactery, with its richly, comic assortment of low-life manifestations and eccentricities. In his presentation of Minnie, O'Casey also emphasises the latent hypocrisy of his remaining characters.
The plough, indeed, as well as the stars. The Shadow rif a Gunman is deceptively, marvellously, selfcontained, with no loose ends and not a moment wasted. In the hands of a capable director, the play will not give the impression that the first act is too torpid for a drama about quicksilver people and events. In both acts, the pitch is varied in successive scenes, the gradations of which must be as carefully executed as the unpremeditated nature of the structure of the performance as a whole. The serious message of the play must not be overexposed at the expense of overlooking the tragicomic mixture, at which O'Casey excels.
There is a touch of Boyle in all of us. We strut along thinking that our shadows shine. There's a touch ofJoxer in a lot of us; saying yes where we ought to say no. And I hope there is some of Mrs Boyle in us all. To be brave even at the eleventh hour ... Poverty as well as the stark events of the Civil War help to explain Boyle's obsessive escapism andJoxer's sycophantic collaboration in it (in the same way that it nearly destroys but does not deflect or defeat the unquenchable spirit ofJuno, even though the rest of the suffering women of the neighbouring tenements such as Mrs Tancred and others are bowed with grief).