Modern Irish Literature Criticism: Drama - Essay

Vivian Mercier

D. E. S. Maxwell (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Honour of Naming: Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel,” in A Critical History of Modern Irish Drama 1891-1980, Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 188-212.

[In the following excerpt, Maxwell compares and contrasts the plays of Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel.]


Martin. I was the like of the little children do be listening to the stories of an old woman, and do be dreaming after in the dark night it's in grand houses of gold they are, with speckled horses to ride, and do be waking again, in a short while, and they destroyed with the cold, and the thatch dripping maybe, and the starved ass braying in the yard....

(The entire section is 9905 words.)

Christopher Murray (essay 1989)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Friel and After: Trends in Theater and Drama,” in New Irish Writing: Essays in Memory of Raymond J. Porter, edited by James D. Brophy and Eamon Grennan, Twayne Publishers, 1989, pp. 13-34.

[In the following excerpt, Murray discusses the drama of Brian Friel, John B. Keane, Eugene McCabe, Thomas Kilroy, Bernard Farrell, Hugh Leonard, Graham Reid, and Tom McIntyre.]

In concluding his book on Brian Friel in 1973 D. E. S. Maxwell quoted him as saying: “I would like … to write a play that would capture the peculiar spiritual, and indeed material flux, that this country is in at the moment. This has got to be done, for me anyway, at a local, parochial level,...

(The entire section is 9654 words.)

Colin Teevan (essay date 1998)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Northern Ireland: Our Troy? Recent Versions of Greek Tragedies by Irish Writers,” in Modern Drama, Vol. XLI, No. 1, Spring, 1998, pp. 77-6.

[In the following excerpt, Teevan focuses on Greek tragedy adaptations in the Irish theater and poetry.]

“Each nation … fashion[s] a classical Greece in its own image.”

—W.H. Auden1

It is, perhaps, only after one has written something that one begins to see not only one's own personal motivations for doing so, but also the broader social environment and forces that contributed to the making of the text. In 1994 I undertook a...

(The entire section is 5545 words.)