Synge, John Millington. (1871 - 1909).
W o r k
- minimises conventional action, achieves the singular effect through the original use of language
- echoes the rhythms of the Western Ireland English moulded by Gaelic syntax and provincial Catholicism
- his mature plays perfect a distinctively Irish comic form
< inspired by the 17th century London comedies
Riders to the Sea (1904):
- a short ‘poetic’ play
- suggests the perennial failure of those working with and on the sea
- subsumes characters and action in a choric flow expressive of fatalism
The Tinker’s Wedding (1903 - 1907)
The Well of the Saints (1905):
- set in the rural east of Ireland two or more centuries ago
- an old blind beggar couple is persuaded by villagers that they are beautiful, the Saint cures thems from their blindness, and the two realize the truth
- conclusion: the beggars make themselves repugnant by their behaviour and leave to south to find more tolerant neighbours
The Playboy of the Western World (1907):
- set on the remote Mayo coastline
- an isolated rural community is disturbed by the arrival of a fugitive, a supposed parricide
- conclusion: the fugitive departs with his thrice ‘resurrected’ father in a triumphant act of myth-making in which he claims to go away ‘like a gallant captain with his heathen slave’
"There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting."
John Millington Synge
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorEdmund John Millington Synge. (1871 - 1909). Irish.
WorkPlaywright. Author of The Playboy of the Western World (1907).
GenreIrish Literary Revival. Comedy.
Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.
Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.
Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.