Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Osborne, John. (1929 - 1994).

W o r k

- freed the theatre of the formal constraints of the former generation, introduced a new kind of drama challenging the middle-class virtues of ‘the well-made play’

- shifted emphasis on language, theatrical rhetoric, and intensive emotions

- revolutionary not in form or politics x but: in its concern with ‘the issues of the day’, its rancour, its language, and its setting

- no more the country drawing-rooms with its platitudes and its sherry x but: the provincial bed-sitters with its noisy abuse and its ironing-board

- no more the theatrical illusion of a neat, stratified, and deferential society x but: the dramatic representations of untidy, antagonistic, and disenchanted characters grating on one another’s, and society’s, nerves

- 1950s - 1960s: shocks his audiences into responsive attention x later period: his social vision gets out of fashion, his plays decline in quality, and he ends up as a writer having lost both his way and his audience

Look Back in Anger (1956):

- the protagonist, Jimmy Porter, succeeds to marry a wealthy girl, ends up in an uneven marriage, and gives way to his anger in a tyranny of his wife

- the play emphasizes language: verbal attacks on the university graduates employed in second-rate jobs, their unfulfilled emotional life, the society, etc.

- Jimmy is the only character of the Angry Young Men to embrace anger as his life philosophy

> supplied the name for the ‘Angry Young Men’ movement

The Entertainer (1957):

- employs the metaphor of the dying music-hall tradition as standing for the moribund state of the British Empire

The World of Paul Slickey (1959):

- a musical satirizing the tabloid press

Luther (1961):

- concerned with the life of the archetypal rebel Martin Luther

Inadmissible Evidence (1964):

- concerned with a frustrated solicitor at a law firm

- uses his characteristically soaring rhetoric venom to powerful effect

A Patriot for Me (1965):

- concerned with the turn-of-the-century homosexuality

The Hotel in Amsterdam (1968):

- won him the prize for the best play of the year


(Photo: Britannica).

  • Author

    John James Osborne. (1929 - 1994). British.
  • Work

    Playwright. Author of Look Back in Anger (1956).
  • Genre

    Angry Young Men. Social play.


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.


"Don't clap too hard--it's a very old building."

From The Entertainer (1957).


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