John Millington Synge

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Synge, John Millington

 

Born Apr. 16, 1871, at Rath-farnham, near Dublin; died Mar. 24, 1909, in Dublin. Irish playwright.

Synge was educated at Trinity College in Dublin and in Paris. In his first play, In the Shadow of the Glen (1903), he attacked the power of money and advocated higher morality. His one-act drama Riders to the Sea (1904) depicts nature as a tragic force for fishermen doomed to perish at sea. Synge’s plays, which had been influenced by French and Belgian symbolism, then became predominantly realistic, as seen in The Well of the Saints (1905) and The Playboy of the Western World (1907; Russian translation by K. Chukovskii under the title The Hero, 1923), which depict the ignorance and cruelty of the Irish village.

Synge’s book of sketches The Aran Islands (1907) describes the life of Irish fishermen, whose tales were the source of most of Synge’s plays. The play The Tinker’s Wedding (1907) is anticlerical, and the play Deirdre of the Sorrows (1910, unfinished) is permeated with tragic motifs. Synge championed the aesthetic principles of realistic drama.

WORKS

Collected Works, vols. 1–4. London, 1962–68.
In Russian translation:
Dramy. [Foreword by Iu. Kovalev.] Leningrad-Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCES

Kamyshev, V. S. “Esteticheskie vzgliady Dzh. M. Singa.” In the collection Esteticheskiepozitsii i tvorcheskii metodpisatelia. Moscow, 1973.
Kamyshev, V. S. “Dzh. M. Sing v bor’be za novuiu irlandskuiu dramu.” In the collection Problemy zarubezhnoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1974.
Greene, D. H., and E. M. Stephens. J. M. Synge, 1871–1909. New York, 1959.
Gerstenberger, D. John Millington Synge. New York, 1965.
J. M. Synge Centenary Papers, 1971. [Dublin, 1972.]
Levitt, P. M. J. M. Synge: A Bibliography of Published Criticism. Dublin [1974].

A. P. SARUKHANIAN