OCasey, Sean

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

O’Casey, Sean


Born Mar. 30, 1880, in Dublin; died Sept. 18, 1964, in Torquay, Devonshire. Irish writer. Son of poor Protestants.

An adherent of Communist ideas, O’Casey participated in the Dublin labor strike of August 1913–January 1914 and was secretary of the Irish Citizen Army. He wrote about the national liberation movement of the period from 1910 to the 1920’s in the dramatic trilogy The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926). From the late 1930’s his work was characterized by a combination of a poetic vision of the world with a revolutionary world view. O’Casey denounced bourgeois morality and proclaimed revolutionary ideals in the heroic drama The Star Turns Red (1940), the comic fantasy Purple Dust (1940), the poetic tragedy Red Roses for Me (1942), the comic fantasy Cock-a-doodle Dandy (1949), the lyric play The Bishop’s Bonfire (1955), and the light comedy The Drums of Father Ned (1959). Between 1939 and 1954, O’Casey wrote a six-volume autobiography entitled Mirror in My House, in which he painted a broad canvas of life in Ireland and England. He emerged as a staunch supporter of realism and an antagonist of modernism and naturalist imitation of life in the collections of articles The Flying Wasp (1937), The Green Crow (1956), Under a Colored Cap (1963), and Blasts and Benedictions (1967). His social criticism played a significant role in the struggle for peace.


Collected Plays, vols. 1–4. London, 1949–51.
Mirror in My House, vols. 1–2. New York, 1956.
Feathers From the Green Crow: 1905–25. [New York] 1962.
In Russian translation:
la stuchus’ v dver’. Na poroge. Moscow, 1957.
Piat’ odnoaktnykh p’es. Moscow, 1960.
P’esy. Moscow, 1961.
Za teatral’nym zanavesom. (Collection of articles with a preface by G. Zlobin.) Moscow, 1971.


Druzina, M. Shon O’Keisi—dramaturg. Moscow, 1963.
Sarukhanian, A. Tvorchestvo Shona O’Keisi. Moscow, 1965.
Shon O’Keisi. Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1964.
Krause, D. Sean O’Casey: The Man and His Work. London, 1960.
Hogan, R. The Experiments of Sean O’Casey. New York, 1960.
Sean O’Casey: The Modern Judgements. London, 1969.
Benstock, B. Sean O’Casey. Lewisburg, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.