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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Seán O’Casey’s first three produced plays are often referred to as the ‘Dublin Trilogy’. They were not conceived as a trilogy but they are centrally concerned with representing the city, a relatively new departure in Irish theatre at the time. This chapter draws on theories of the city to analyse some of the ways in which tenement life and the urban society around it are dramatized in the first Dublin plays, before moving on to consider how O’Casey treated the city in later non-naturalistic works such as Within the Gates and Red Roses for Me. This consideration of O’Casey’s urban theatre underlines both the social radicalism of his work and, in particular, the centrality of the 1913 Lockout to his understanding of the Irish urban working classes. Ultimately, this focus on the city as the main player in O’Casey’s work provides a fresh focus for one of the most important Irish writers of the past century .

Keywords: Seán O’Casey, Dublin Trilogy, city, working class, naturalism, non-naturalistic theatre

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