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“Did That Play of Mine …?”: Theatre, Commemoration and 1916

RICHARDS, Shaun (2018) “Did That Play of Mine …?”: Theatre, Commemoration and 1916. History Workshop Journal, 85. pp. 302-308. ISSN 1477-4569

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Abstract or description

W.B. Yeats’s question ‘Did that play of mine send out/Certain men the English shot?’ from ‘The Man and the Echo’ (1938), speculatitively postions his play, Cathleen ni Houlihan (1902), as the driving force behind the Easter Rising of 1916. While theatre was a powerful factor in creating the cultural-politial climate which gave birth to the Rising, Yeats’s question disingenously gives his play an exclusive influence on events when other playwrights, specifically Patrick Pearse and Thomas MacDonagh, who actually led the Rising, had a far better claim to being its dramatic inspiration. This article considers the theatrical influences on the Rising, examining Cathleen ni Houlihan and other plays of the period, and outlines the production history of Yeats’s play as an indication of its post-Rising status, comparing it to that of Sean O’Casey’s play about the Rising, The Plough and the Stars (1926).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 17-01-2018:
Uncontrolled Keywords: History and Philosophy of Science, History
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
SWORD Depositor: JISC pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC pubrouter
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 13:10
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:51
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