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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The eighteenth century was a period when ambitious Irish dramatists, particularly those based in London, deployed satire as a means of publicly displaying Irish improvement and Enlightenment. The Stage Irishman evolved over the period to become less an object than a tool of satire. Central to this process was new historiographical work by Irish historians that provided an ideological basis for this new drama. The Declaratory Act (1720) provoked Irish patriot writers; the failed Jacobite Rebellion (1745) offered them an opportunity to denigrate the Scottish to further Irish claims of Celtic authenticity; and the Irish rebellion (1798) muted the sense of possibility around the politics of national identity and satire.

Keywords: theatre, historiography, Ireland, national identity, satire, stereotype, Enlightenment, Jonathan Swift, Charles Macklin, Charles O’Conor

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