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DRAMA II Modern Drama

DRAMA II Modern Drama

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DRAMA II Modern Drama

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  1. DRAMA IIModern Drama Lecture 30

  2. Sean O’Casey was born in 1818 and died in 1964. The play has been written on the background of Irish Civil War, which has been going for centuries.

  3. Irish Civil War Juno and the Paycock: Jingois

  4. Jingoism • flag waving • “an appeal intended to arouse patriotic emotions”

  5. Jingoism (Denotation)

  6. Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocacy of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism. • The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude toward Russia in the 1870s, and appeared in the American press by 1893

  7. WWI – Irish War • Main Ireland got independence after the First World War • Ireland is divided into Southern and Northern Ireland. • Northern Ireland is now called Ulster. The people of main Ireland are Roman Catholic. The majority of Ulster is Anglican. So there is political and religious problem. • (i)Either to unite with main IrelandOR(ii)To unite with EnglandOR(iii)To be total independent was the main problem or enigma.

  8. The Play and it’s Social Significance Society

  9. Juno and the Paycock • The paycock, or peacock represents the chaos that Juno endures during the play. • In mythology, the name Juno is the Roman name for Hera, the goddess of marriage, and the peacock is her symbol. • The Boyle family: - a working class family in their attempt to escape their dilemmas- alienated from each other

  10. Women in Juno and the Paycock Juno Boyle - Breadwinner • Realist in the family • Showing her strength in adversity Mary Boyle • On strike for her principle • Blinded by appearances

  11. Men in Juno and the Paycock Jack Boyle • Idleness, a real cripple in life “Mary is always readin’ lately – nothing but trash, too..” (440) “I’m hardly able to crawl with the pains in me legs!” (440)

  12. Men in Juno and the Paycock Jack Boyle • Self-deception, talking with a commanding and complacent gesture e.g. “Chselurs don’t care a damn now about their parents, they’re bringin’ their fathers’ gray hairs down with sorra to the grave, an’ laughin’ at it, laughin’ at it.” (440) e.g. “Captain’s able to take care of himself…” (441)

  13. Men in Juno and the Paycock Johnny Boyle • Suffering from his betrayal to his comrade • Showing no sympathy to his sister Joxer Daly - Parasite • Crawler Jerry Devine • Judging love from material things • Turing his back on Mary when knowing she’s having Bentham’s baby Charlie Bentham - Bring fantasy and disillusion to the Boyle family

  14. Mothers in Juno and the Paycock while facing the death of their sons: Mrs. Tancred - despairing and anticipates her own death “O Blessed Virgin where were you when me darlin’ son was riddled with bullets,…” (449) Juno Boyle - hardy and resolute “Ah, what can God do agen the stupidity o’ men!” (457)

  15. 1. Plot overview Boyle’s Family… • Boyle is a useless and irresponsible drunkard who shuns the reality of work at every stage in the play, and spends his time in the pub drinking with his friend Joxer Daly. • The Boyles have two children Johnny and Mary. • Johnny is a sickly individual who has been involved in the Republican movement but he ended up betraying a comrade by the name of Tancred. Johnny spends his days locked up in the house fearful of his life. • His mother Juno is a selfless character who is concerned all the time about other people.

  16. 1. Plot overview • Juno’s daughter Mary is deeply concerned about appearances. • She is a shallow character who seems to judge people and things from the outside. • When we meet her at the beginning of the play, we learn she is on strike because of the dismissal of a young girl called Jenny Claffey. Yet we are told from Juno how Mary never had a good word to say about Jenny Claffey in her whole life.

  17. 1. Plot overview • The family is told that they will inherit money from a distant relative who has died. • Bentham is the solicitor who informs them of this fact. • He begins to have a relationship with Mary and she becomes pregnant. • Bentham shortly after this abandons her. • The Boyles begin to borrow money and accumulate a great deal of debts.

  18. 1. Plot overview • The legacy never materializes, and the Boyles are forced to return the borrowed goods. • Johnny is dragged off to be shot for the betrayal of Tancred. • Juno finally realizes that Boyle will never take on his responsibilities as father and breadwinner and so she leaves him and sets up home with Mary.

  19. 3. General Vision or Viewpoint • The general vision is grim and sombre. • There is a subtle sense throughout the play that war is futile and only contributes to the harsh quality of life. • Many of the characters represented in the play are tragic victims of war and poverty. • The overall general vision seems to highlight the heroic quality of the woman and their enormous capacity to suffer.

  20. 4. Cultural Context • The particular cultural context of this play is war torn Dublin in the years 1922/3 during the Civil war. • The play is set in the slums or tenement part of the city. It is deeply rooted in poverty and the degradation consequent on war. • Illegitimacy is seen to be something, which brings with it disgrace and the woman, is left humiliated. • The play also deals with working class Dublin and how certain people avoid work and spend their time drinking in pubs.

  21. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences

  22. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences Social: War • In 1916, there was a great uprising and many people were killed. • O’Casey felt sorry for them. O’Casey was basically a pacifist (peaceful). He looks for independence but not at the cost of peace and life. • This approach is also like that of W. B. Yeats. Both feel sorry for human causalities. • To both, war is an evil, fought under any pretext, (excuse). • Reality is more important than ideology. Man is more important than patriotism and religious fanaticism. O’Casey is down to earth a realist. • He is similar to Shaw and is strongly anti-war writer. • He is an anti-war, anti-class, anti-patriotism, anti-fanaticism, anti-trade unionism, anti-dogmatism, anti-ideology and anti-false aristocracy.

  23. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences Personal: Feminism • He is a feministic writer. The play predominantly conveys Women’s struggle, hard work, suffering, endurance and courage

  24. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences Cultural: Greek Mythology • O’Casey has taken the characters of “Juno and the Paycock” from Greek mythology. • One very important aspect of European literature is their interest in classical mythology. • O’Neill wrote “Electra”, Shaw wrote “Pygmalion”, Yeats wrote about “Byzantium”, Ibsen has created his own myth “Wild Duck” influenced by Greek mythology.

  25. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences Contemporary dimensions • The European writers want to write on contemporary themes. • They want to write on mundane level, but now modern themes are trivial. • As in this play, though the domestic problems do not have heroic dimensions. • Therefore, modern writers refer to classical myths to give a colour of sublimity to their subject.

  26. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences A fine blend of Greek Mythology and contemporary Life • The other reason is that due to contemporary chaos communications have become difficult because there is no share of feelings. • Therefore, modern writers seek for some focal point which would be equally meaningful to various people. • So, when we talk with reference to the myths of Oedipus, Hamlet, Pygmalion, Byzantium, Electra, the communication becomes easy.

  27. 5. The play as reflection of social and personal influences • In a disintegrated society, myths provide a focus and a centrifugal face. • Some writers create their own myths as in the Later Romantic period and in Early Modern period. As Shelley creates the myth of “West Wind”, Keats creates the myth of “Hyperion and Psyche”. • Ibsen makes the myth of “Wild Duck” and then O’Casey also uses Greek mythology inthe play “Juno and the Paycock”.

  28. 7. Themes/Issues

  29. 7. Themes/IssuesPoverty This theme dominates the play at every level. • The whole play highlights the cruel irony that while many people were fighting for ideals and principles there were others who were suffering from the debilitating effects of the poverty. • Because of the negative effects generated by poverty escapism assumes a major and dramatic element in the lives of characters. • Mary’s tragic situation occurs because of poverty. • When it becomes clear that the Boyles will not inherit any legacy, Bentham disappears forever abandoning Mary alone to have her baby.

  30. 7. Themes/IssuesPoverty • Jerry Devine standards of what are essential features in a husband are set out in terms of money. At one stage he tells Mary how the job is worth • Juno who is the only character rooted in the harsh practical everyday world of necessity realizes that money, hard work, and responsible social commitment are stronger and more realistic values in this world than principles and ideals. • Her pragmatic stance on how principles won’t pay butchers is in striking contrast to the incessant evasion from reality inherent in all of the other characters.

  31. 7. Themes/Issues Religion The theme of Religion is also a dominant feature in the play. • The play is set against a strong Catholic background. O Casey makes frequent use of images of Our Lady and the votive light to project an air of realism and authenticity in the play. • There are also a variety of different religions, and attitudes expressed throughout the play. • One of O Casey’s chief mottos in the play seems to show the co-existence of strong religious convictions, together with a sincere and humane commitment to one’s fellowman.

  32. 7. Themes/Issues Religion • Juno’s faith is sincere, authentic, and traditional. She believes on Johnny’s death that God can do nothing against the stupidity of men, that her husband should be praying novenas for a job, and that what Ireland needs is more piety. • On the other hand, Bentham espouses a religion by the name of Theosophy. This is projected as vague and abstract and certainly seems to be compatible with his own shallow commitment to people.

  33. 7. Themes/Issues Reality And Fantasy • The play dramatizes the conflict between the dream world and the world of reality and shows what happens when a character is stripped of his illusions and forced to face reality. • Boyle the ‘poseur’ or Paycock struts throughout the world of the play on a false and imaginary sense of his own self- importance. • His whole life and career consist in fabricating dreams of his gallant years as a captain fighting heroic feats and sailing the oceans of the world. • The news of the legacy provides another outlet to Boyle’s habitual evasion of reality, he sees himself as a potential investor on the Stock Exchange.

  34. 7. Themes/Issues Reality And Fantasy • His whole life is a lie. His pains, which are invented for the sake of shirking and avoiding work, become real to him. • His refuses to face up to the truth and reality about Bentham and the deception surrounding the news of the will. • When reality invades at the conclusion of the play in the form of Mary’s pregnancy and the actual removal of his material possessions, Boyle is unable to cope. • His final entrance dramatized in a drunken fragmentary soliloquy is tragic. His habitual escape into fantasy is pathetically expressed through his drunken pose - ‘ Commandant Kelly died....in them arms.....Tell me Volunteer Bullies says he that I died for Ireland’.

  35. 7. Themes/Issues Reality And Fantasy • Mary who represents the younger generation also falls victim to illusion. On her first appearance in the play, she is shown to be on strike for a principle. • The oppressive and stifling atmosphere generated by the tenement life forces her to seek escape through Bentham. • For her he represents another way of life and values outside the restricting and debilitating atmosphere within the two-roomed tenement.

  36. 7. Themes/Issues Reality And Fantasy • She falls victim to the subtle deception of Bentham’ middle-class gentility. • She is blinded by external appearances and ends up a tragic victim of Bentham’s hypocrisy and selfishness At the conclusion of the play, she is forced to return to the reality of the slum life with Juno in spite of all her attempts to escape through learning and books.

  37. Juno and the Paycock Tragi-comedy

  38. Tragi-comedy Tragi-comedy is a kind of writing in which comedy is hovering on the brinks of tragedy.

  39. Why Tragi-comedy? • O’Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock” is a tragi-comedy although, on the whole, it is a serious and somber play having much destruction and violence. • But there are a number of comic elements in the play which would not fit into the pattern of a tragedy. • On the other hand, as the comic elements do not outweigh the tragic ones, it would be inappropriate to label the play as a comedy.

  40. Co-existence of Tragedy and Comedy It means there is a co-existence in the play of tragic and comic elements and so, the best course is to treat it as a tragi-comedy.

  41. Mood ~ Beginning/Somber The play starts with a graphic description of Boyle’s household.

  42. Mood Transition

  43. Mr. Boyle: grotesques

  44. Actually, on the whole, farce in the play, • is verbal – the repartee, • the comic catchphrases, • the cumulative comedy of repetition. There is the comedy of dialect and mispronunciation; • of pompous phrases misused; • of ludicrous images. • Inflation and deflation both are comic. • Captain Boyle’s inflation of his fantasies with invention, exaggeration, rhetoric and bombastic and Juno’ facility in knocking him down etc all are comic.

  45. Tragic theme… Despite, so much laughter and comedy, the play is predominantly tragic in theme. • For example, the ignorance that prompts Joxer’s and Captain Boyle’s mistake makes us laugh at first but is fundamentally tragic; their idleness, drunkenness and deviousness give numerous opportunities for comedy, but are in themselves wasteful and destructive.

  46. Tenement life gives rise to farcical situations but is in reality grim. • Thus the superficialities of certain circumstances of Dublin life make an audience laugh, whereas, these are tragic if examined in full e.g. heroes become cowards, nationalism becomesjingoism, labour, humanitarianism becomes inhumanity.

  47. “Juno and the Paycock” a Tragi-comedy The pith and marrow of all this discussion is that, comedy is here, in fact, hovering on the brink oftragedy and so we are apt and just when we call “Juno and the Paycock” a tragi-comedy.

  48. Juno and the Paycock A Feministic Play