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A STUDY OF JOHN. M. SYNGE
- A STUDY OF JOHN. M. SYNGE
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- 대학원 영어영문학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Ireland produced a considerable group of playwrights who not only had enriched the play-house but also had provided a new trend for drama. Among them Synge is undoubtedly the greatest English speaking dramatist and for much the same reasons that the Abbey Theatre is the most remarkable development in the theatrical history for some three centuries.
Synge died when still comparatively young man, having written only six plays and some twenty poems which had contributed a great deal to the Irish drama. The presence of nature is strongly felt in many of his plays since he drew his material from the Aran Islands and the Wicklow his imagination and offer him some inspiration to combine dramatist and nature-mystic in his work.
One of the roots of his poetry is mysticism, such as he recognized in the Irish peasants and fishermen who constantly struggle against the force of nature and live far enough out of reach of civilization. His plays have a wonderful diction; on the other hand, they are so personal that it is easy to imitate his style and dialect, nevertheless it is impossible to imitate his individuality.
"Time has shown how deeply Synge penetrated into the soul of the Irish peasant, the richness of the dialogue and the suggestion which it conveys of a permanent human enigma to make it a masterpiece."
The public discussion arose from some of his plays, particularly from The Playboy of the Western World and critics had reproached him for describing the Irish as immoral and anti-catholic, in his plays. Synge, however, was never a man to put himself forward and mix actively in any disturbance, pleasant or otherwise. He was morbidly shy, self-deprecatory, undemonstrative, nervous, and a solitary who feared cities and escaped to the country whenever he could.
Moreover, although he shared the political convictions of the Irish nationalists, he egnored them in his writing and he less thought about Nationalism than any of his predecessors. Yeats wrote:
"He was the man that we needed because he was the only man I have ever known incapable of a political thought or of a humanitarian purpose... .
Therefore, he could carry on unbroken the tradition of ancient Irish native poetry in which a distinctive quality is the sense of intimacy between man and nature around him; in other words, that is the harmonious combination of what he called the 'reality and joy'.
So, as Mr. Fraser says, "Synge saved the English drama from mannerism by his heartiness and earthiness...", his plays are rare among the dramas of this century for the beautiful language with abundant local idioms.
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