Sean O'Casey


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O'Casey, Sean

(shôn), 1884–1964, Irish dramatist, one of the great figures of the Irish literary renaissance. A Protestant, he grew up in the slum district of Dublin and was active in various socialist movements and in the rebellions for Irish independence. His first plays, The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926), were performed by the Abbey Players with great success. These grim, satiric, and often violent tragicomedies are usually considered O'Casey's most brilliant works. They all treat aspects of the Irish movement for independence, and they are not always kind to the Irish people. The Plough and the Stars, with its unsympathic treatment of the participants in the Easter Rebellion, touched off a riot in the theater, and after this event O'Casey left Ireland for England, never to return. His later plays, more experimental and expressionistic, include The Silver Tassie (rejected by the Abbey Theatre in 1928, but successfully produced in London and New York in 1929), Within the Gates (1934), Purple Dust (1940), Red Roses for Me (1942), and The Bishop's Bonfire (1955). All of O'Casey's plays exhibit a mastery of language and an unsentimental sympathy for the poor. His six autobiographical volumes—I Knock at the Door (1939), Pictures in the Hallway (1942), Drums under the Windows (1945), Inishfallen, Fare Thee Well (1949), Rose and Crown (1952), and Sunset and Evening Star (1954)—were collectively published as Mirror in My House (2 vol., 1956). He also wrote a book of drama criticism, The Green Crow (1956). His collected plays appeared in four volumes in 1949–51.

Bibliography

See biographies by M. B. Marguiles (1970) and by his wife, Eileen O'Casey (1972); studies by R. Hogan (1960) and J. Simmons (1984).

References in periodicals archive ?
to Ossie Davis, says that Lorraine Hansberry was influenced by the Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, while Ron Milner was influenced by such novelists as Ralph Ellison, Ernest Hemingway and Langston Hughes.
The millionaire Dublin movie hunk was to join the likes of Bono, Bertie Ahern and Sean O'Casey as the latest character at the well-known tourist attraction.
During last year's festival season I watched Widowers' Houses, Shaw's very first play, and a preview performance of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars there.
What we learn about our author/traveling companion over the course of the book must be extracted from passing comments--he's 74 when he decides to embark upon this walking tour of Ireland, he "loved toy soldiers as a lad," he's "reasonably" religious, he's originally from the vicinity of Fifth Avenue and 50th Street in Manhattan, he was a university teacher, and he "had become close" with playwright Sean O'Casey. But these little details are parsimoniously distributed, and one can't help but feet that the book would have been Ear more engrossing if its author had shared more of his own history and interior life.
The whole world's in a terrible state o' chassis, writes Sean O'Casey in his classic, Juno and the Paycock.
Sean O'Casey's play set in a Dublin tenement in the 1920s.
Previously, Turnage has written one full-length opera, Greek, and two shorter pieces of music theatre, but The Silver Tassie, with libretto adapted by Amanda Holden from the play by Sean O'Casey, is without doubt his masterpiece.
As philosopher Sean O'Casey once noted, "Laughter is brought in to mock at things as they are so they may topple down and make room for the better things to come."
In addition, she attempted to explain away her purchase of a "home" in England - asserting that the property was to lodge the books, letters, archives and memorabilia of her father, the late Sean O'Casey.
In Britain he has enjoyed a larger following; in the United States he remains virtually unknown, his excellent critical works on Sean O'Casey and Mulk Raj Anand, his commendable collections of Indian writing, and his own fictions having found few readers.
B, Yeats, and Sean O'Casey. The Playboy of the Western World and Two Other Irish Plays.
During the mid-to-late 1960s, Dorst introduced a number of foreign works to the German theater and translated or adapted plays by Thomas Dekker, Denis Diderot, Moliere, and Sean O'Casey, among others.