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Michael McAteer examines the plays of W. B. Yeats, considering their place in European theater during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This original study considers the relationship Yeats's work bore with those of the foremost dramatists of the period, drawing comparisons with Henrik Ibsen, Maurice Maeterlinck, August Strindberg, Luigi Pirandello and Ernst Toller. It also shows how his plays addressed developments in theater at the time, with regard to the Naturalist, Symbolist, Surrealist and Expressionist movements, and how symbolism identified Yeats's ideas concerning labor, commerce and social alienation. This book is invaluable to graduates and academics studying Yeats but also provides a fascinating account for those in Irish studies and in the wider field of drama.Read more
- Discusses seventeen plays by W. B. Yeats, providing the reader with a comprehensive survey of the works
- Compares Yeats's work with modern European dramatists in order to contextualise the work within European modernist theatre
- Draws on reviews and essays from newspapers and journals of the period, allowing the reader to understand the plays in relation to debates on theatre reform
Reviews & endorsements
"McAteer is careful to trace lines of influence backwards as well as forward, as well as nationally and internationally, so that we find comparisons not only with Strindberg, Ibsen and French Symbolism, but also with Irish models (Synge in particular). More vitally, we are shown how Yeats's dramas, initially forbiddingly individualistic, might actually provide models for other writers: McAteer's work on Yeats's influence on Beckett is particularly intriguing in this light."
Tara Stubbs, Yeats AnnualSee more reviews
"Michael McAteer’s Yeats and European Drama is a comprehensive guidebook to many of Yeats’s plays … McAteer makes great efforts to link Yeats with the European and Scandinavian writers: his research ranges far and wide, including Henrik Ibsen, Maurice Maeterlinck, August Strinberg, Luigi Pirandello, Ernst Toller."
Young Suck Rhee, The Yeats Journal of Korea
"It is a long time since there was a critical work on Yeats’s theatre and even longer since there was one as impressive and intellectually commanding as Michael McAteer’s Yeats and European Drama."
Anthony Roche, Irish University Review
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- Date Published: January 2020
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108798488
- dimensions: 230 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.3kg
- contains: 3 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Part I. Early Plays:
1. Revolutionary revelation: The Land of Heart's Desire, The Countess Cathleen, Cathleen ni Houlihan
2. Space, language, power: The King's Threshold and Deirdre
Part II. The Cuchulain Cycle:
3. 'I'll Not Be Bound': On Baile's Strand and The Green Helmet
4. The turn to Noh: At the Hawk's Well and The Only Jealous of Emer
5. 'Everything Sublunary Must Change': The Death of Cuchulain
Part III. Later Plays:
6. 'The Heart of a Phantom is Beating': The Dreaming of the Bones and Calvary
7. 'O Self-Born Mockers': The Player Queen, The Words Upon the Window-pane, The Herne's Egg
8. History inside out: Purgatory
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