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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.56 pp.129-147

W. B. Yeats’s Anti-theatricalism and Poetic Nationalism in At the Hawk’s Well

Yuan Li
Professor of English Language and Culture at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies


Yeats’s encounter with the Japanese Noh theatre led to the production ofAt the Hawk’s Well in 1916 in which he found solutions for the problems hestruggled with in a poetic theatre and an ambivalent expression for his poeticnationalism. Instead of an authentic recreation of the Noh theatre, Yeats refashionedit conveying his own aesthetic and political visions opposing his early ideal of thePeople’s theatre. Artistically, Yeats “invented a form of drama” which not onlyimplements his anti-theatrical and anti-realist discourse, but also produces an intimatetheatre that refuses to accommodate a mob. Politically, Yeats’s poetic version ofnationalism converged with his occultist philosophy which found expression in thisNoh-inspired play. He held that a poetic theatre had to be a powerful ritual inwhich the concentration of images evokes a national consciousness. However, thehypnotized state evoked by this performance ritual entails negative aspects. In At theHawk’s Well, Cuchulain’s final act of heroism is not out of his own choice, but theresult of hypnotization. The play thus draws our attention to the continuity ofYeats’s representations of nationalism as poetics of cultural hypnosis from his earlyplay Cathleen Ni Houlihan.

「매의 우물」에 나타난 예이츠의 전통적 극형식에 대한 저항과 시적 문화주의

중국 광동외국어대학교 문화문학과 교수


예이츠의 일본의 노드라마와의 조우는 1916년
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