O’Casey & the Irish Civil War

Credit/ Professor Jaurretche’s CCLE Page

For my research paper I will be focusing on Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock and how this play serves as a critique of fervent Irish nationalism. The play shows us the harsh reality that many Irish people suffered during the turbulent times of the civil war. Violence, poverty, and chaos were the result of bloodshed events like the Irish Civil War and the Easter Rising of 1916; and the consequences were felt all throughout Ireland. For the cultural analysis part of my paper I will be focusing on the Irish Civil War and the economic, social, cultural, and political impacts this historical event had on the Irish people. After establishing the historical context for my paper, I will move on to the close reading of O’Casey’s play. I will be focusing on the final act of the play, specifically the last five to six pages. In these final pages I hope to find passages that illustrate the degeneration that is slowly consuming Ireland with the goal of emphasizing how Ireland’s struggle for independence resulted in devastating consequences that spared no one. My overall thesis will focus on how O’Casey’s novel is a critique of fervent Irish nationalism given that we see how working-class Irishmen and women were plagued by violence and poverty, and how Ireland was on the brink of total collapse as a result of the civil war.

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