Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A study of the dramatic theory developed by the founders of the Irish literary theatre and the attempt to apply this theory in the Abbey Theatre, with particular reference to the achievements of the major figures during the first two decades of the movement
Author: Saddlemeyer, Eleanor Ann
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1961
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
"What we wanted was to create for Ireland a theatre with a base of realism, with an apex of beauty," Lady Gregory wrote of the early Abbey. This study examines, with special reference to the theatre movement in Ireland during the first two decades of this century, the dramatic theory and practice developed by William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and John Millington Synge, in their attempt to create an Irish literary theatre. It begins by considering the background of all three writers in an effort to place each within the aesthetic and national climate which nurtured their development and affected their aims and practice. This section traces the major European and Irish currents of thought in which they were involved. A theatre with a base of realism and an apex of beauty implies special qualifications and involves certain basic conflicts. The main body of the thesis is devoted to a study of the development in theory and craftsmanship of these three playwrights as each evolved a dramatic form which would satisfy his artistic theories. Emphasis is placed on the achievements of each during the period 1900 to 1919.The general development of the theatre as distinct from the individual work of its directors is then considered, and a survey made of the gradual evolution of a policy which gave rise to "the Abbey tradition" of writing and acting. A brief examination is made of the degree of interdependence between playwright, player, producer, and audience. The founders succeeded in creating a theatre, but not in realizing their dream. The final chapter places the individual achievement of Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Synge against this background of the general movement and the theatre they founded, in an effort to determine the cause of this success and failure, and the reality of the dream.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature