By John O'Riordan
An intensive advisor 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.
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Additional resources for A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars
With veiled portentousness, Shields also remarks: 'An' as for bein' brave, it's easy to be that when you've no cause for cowardice'. Hardly have both proclaimed their fearlessness- Shields because of religion and Davoren because of his philosophy - when shots ring 22 A Guide to O'Casey's Plays out from the wall of the back-yard behind the tenement. In the words of the direction, 'Religion and philosophy are forgotten in the violent fear of a nervous equality'. As Shields and Davoren remain terrorised with fear, a bravura piece of black comedy erupts upon the scene; and, as the two brave exponents of fearlessness cower in their beds, steps are heard beyond their door.
In a letter of 1955, O'Casey says of Juno: It is the tragedy of vanity, and of subservience to vanity. 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).
JOXER: Aw, it's a darlin' word, a daarlin' word. BOYLE: An', as it blowed an' blowed, I often looked up at the sky an' assed meselfthe question- what is the stars, what is the stars? JOXER: The formal plot is rooted in the continuous fount of words and endless, bibulous rhetoric. The Boyle family lives in a Dublin tenement during the Troubles. The work-shy 'Captain' and 'dryland sailor' - self-spoken 'procrastinator an' prognosticator' spends his days idling with his crony, the fawning, foxy, 'shouldershruggin', mendaciousJoxer, usually tucked up in one of Dublin's 'snugs', or tap-room sheltered retreats (the city's equivalent of Synge's country shebeens).
A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars by John O'Riordan