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Реферат на тему:

 

Sean O'Casey

 

Sean O'Casey, a child of the Dublin slums, was born in 1880 to a

Protestant family. He had a grim childhood of poverty, poor eyesight,

and ill health. Although a chronic eye disease forced him to stay away

from school because of his eye treatments, his passion for learning

stayed with him. In his youth he read widely in the classics and in the

Bible, and at 84 he was learning through radio sessions of the Schools

Program of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

 

His poor eyesight plagued him all his life, which he lived every day

with the increasing threat of total blindness. As a child, he developed

an ulcerated cornea in his left eye, the effects of which left his

vision dim and filmy. His right eye took on the strain of his work and

was also periodically affected. Several times a day he had to sponge his

eyes with water as hot as he could bear in order to relieve the

condition that severely hampered his vision.

 

Sean O'Casey was an idealist with a strong sense of justice that marked

his life and work. Early in his adult life he was caught up in the

fervor of the Gaelic League and in the amateur theatre movement. O'Casey

claimed he found his "faith" in the socialist ideals of Jim Larkin’s

crusade for the Irish working class. (The general strike of 1913 began

the first demands for Irish liberation.)

 

In his early forties, while continuing to support himself as a laborer,

we wrote, in quick succession three realistic plays about the slums of

Dublin. The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, and The Plough and

the Stars were performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1923, 1924, and 1926

respectively. The first takes up the terrors of the Black and Tans in

Dublin. The second has a Civil War theme, and the last is focused on the

Irish Citizen Army and the Easter Rising.

 

These plays provoked public outcry mainly because of O'Casey's

consistent refusal to glorify the violence of the nationalist movement,

instead mocking the heroics of war and presenting the theme that dead

heroes were far outnumbered by dead innocent people.

 

Frank O'Connor, in A Short History of Irish Literature: A Backward Look,

says that what unifies these plavs and sets them apart from O'Casey's

later works is "the bitter recognition that while the men dream, drink,

drivel, dress up and go play-acting, some woman with as much brains and

far more industry sacrifices herself to keep the little spark of human

life from going out altogether."

 

O'Casey followed these plays of realism with The Silver Tassie, which

was submitted to the Abbey Theatre in 1927. It was a play considered

more symbolic and expressionistic than the previous Abbey plays. While

three acts were in typical lively O'Casey style, the second act included

chants and dance movement. The Silver Tassie was labeled a tragicomedy

based on the cruel horrors of World War I. It showed the price which the

common people have to pay for the stupidities of war. It was rejected

for the Abbey Theatre by its directors, and in a formal letter from

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