Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The riots that met the first production of J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World in 1907 have become one of the landmarks of Irish theatre history, and have usually been interpreted in terms of competing definitions of a national theatre. This chapter chooses instead to put the 1907 Playboy of the Western World riots in the context of the very similar response that met the première of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le sacre du printemps) in 1913. By understanding Synge’s work in the context of a modernist understanding of primitivism and aesthetic shock, this chapter argues that we can develop a new understanding of what became known as ‘peasant drama’ in the early Abbey theatre, and begin to see it not as a form of realism, but as a critique of previous dramatic forms.

Keywords: J. M. Synge, Padraic Colum, peasant play, realism, modernism, primitivism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.