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The Theatre of NationIrish Drama and Cultural Nationalism 1890-1916$
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Ben Levitas

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253432.001.0001

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Ghosts and Spectres: Theatres of War, 1910–1916

Ghosts and Spectres: Theatres of War, 1910–1916

(p.178) 6 Ghosts and Spectres: Theatres of War, 1910–1916
The Theatre of Nation


Oxford University Press

This chapter tracks the impact on the theatre of the radicalisation of Irish politics following the General Election of 1910. The momentary success of the Home Rule Bill (1912) is set against the 1913 Dublin lockout and the Irish Volunteer movements. Left politics, voiced by Larkin and Connolly, are considered resonant with the theatre of Robinson, O'Kelly, St John Ervine, Thomas Murray, Fitzmaurice, and Gerald MacNamara. Left-literati alliances were re-forged against the conservative nationalism of William Martin Murphy and Griffith. The First World War drove republican logics to the fore; indicated both by the pessimism of Wilson's The Slough and the excited radicalism of MacDonagh, Eimar O'Duffy, and Patrick Pearse himself. Republicanism, indicated by Pearse's references to Ibsen and Synge, is shown as having absorbed theatrical forces of display, to be reiterated in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Keywords:   Home Rule Bill, Dublin lockout, Connolly, Irish Volunteers, St John Ervine, Gerald MacNamara, Wilson, Patrick Pearse, Ibsen, Synge

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