Answering <i>John Bull’s</i> Provocation—Synge

Nelson O'Ceallaigh Ritschel

in Shaw, Synge, Connolly, and Socialist Provocation

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036519
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038827 | DOI:
Answering John Bull’s Provocation—Synge

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Even though John Bull's was not performed in Dublin until November 1907, it arguably had a presence in Ireland ten months earlier. Synge's response to Shaw's play was to reconfigure the play into The Playboy of the Western World causing a riotous audience to explode. In contrast, Shaw's play was well received during its Dublin premiere, as many of his non-Irish plays had been. As John Bull's and Playboy are explored, their ideological similarities emerge as significant, yet the plays are quite different in their effect on their audiences. The differences between these plays marked a debate between international and national considerations by Shaw and Synge, and led to additional leftist Irish plays by other writers who followed Shaw, and eventually Synge. This debate anticipated the socialistic approaches that moved onto the streets as Synge's final illness neared him to death in 1909.

Keywords: John Bull; Dublin; Ireland; Shaw's play; non-Irish plays; Synge

Chapter.  18224 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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