Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.1999.10.11
예이츠 희곡의 정치적 측면에 대한 고찰*
전남대
A Study on the Political Aspects of Yeats’s Plays
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Abstract
This paper is an attempt to examine the political aspects of Yeats's plays, and, for that purpose, four of his major plays are selected and analyzed: The Countess Cathleen, Cathleen ni Houlihan, The Dreaming of the Bones and Purgatory. In the introductory part, the present writer briefly surveys the ways how Yeats, finding in drama an effective means of achieving the unity of culture for Ireland, dedicated himself to the dramatic movement and related activities.
The next and main part of the paper examines the selected plays, paying attention to the political themes and the other political elements specifically revealed in these plays. The early two plays, The Countess Cathleen and Cathleen ni Houlihan, show the rare and sublime cases of sacrifice and devotion directed toward the cause of Irish independence and wellbeing by creating two characters, an aristocratic lady who sacrifices her life and soul to save the starving peasants and a young man who rushes to the heroic death for Irish independence leaving behind his new bride and home. While The Dreaming of the Bones asks the political and historical meaning of the two most important events in Irish history: the Diarmuid and Dervorgilla episode of the 12th century and the Easter Rising of 1916, Purgatory deals with the political and social implications of the destruction of an honored house caused by mesalliance. To the extent that both of these middle and late plays end in a tragic note of unforgiving bitterness and hatred, they can be regarded as the aesthetic expression of the real political and cultural situations of Irish society at the time of their writing.
What this paper is trying to say as a conclusion is that the four plays discussed here reveal the political and ideological positions of Yeats as they developed in his early, middle and late years of life. In other words, they reveal the specific ways in which Yeats as an Anglo-Irish poet and playwright tried to solve the problems and contradictions he faced in the changing political and social situations of Ireland.

 



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