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Three Dublin Plays: The Shadow of a Gunman / Juno and the Paycock / The Plough and the Stars

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  871 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The classic plays of the quintessential Dublin playwright

Three early plays by Sean O'Casey--arguably his three greatest--demonstrate vividly O'Casey's ability to convey the reality of life and the depth of human emotion, specifically in Dublin before and during the Irish civil war of 1922-23, but, truly, throughout the known universe. In mirroring the lives of the Dublin p
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Paperback, 264 pages
Published October 20th 2000 by Faber & Faber (first published October 15th 1969)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,369)
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Roger Cottrell
A Marxist, a classicist and 20th Century Ireland's greatest playwright. Because of his scrupulous criticism of Republicanism, his revolutionary socialism and exile in Britain he's almost a non person for Irish literary critics and wasn't mentioned once when I was at film school in Dublin. And I ask myself, what's so great about Samuel Becket in any case, when he wouldn't know one end of Aristotle's Poetics from a shovel. O'Casey's representation of working class life in Dublin is brilliant, too. ...more
Bruce
Born in Dublin, Sean O’Casey published “The Shadow of a Gunman” in 1923. Set in Dublin in 1920, it was first performed at the Abbey Theater. The play takes place during the War of Independence. Donal Davoren, a poet who is erroneously thought by his neighbors to be a member of the IRA, is living temporarily in a tenement, allowing the misapprehension to stand uncorrected since it is earning him the infatuation of Minnie Powell. The dialogue among the tenement residents is amusing, filled with ma ...more
Czarny Pies
Oct 02, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Des francais qui possedent une voiture et qui vivent pres d'un port sur la Manche.
Shelves: english-lit
A force d'avoir lu beacoup de livres anglo-Canadiens et Quebecois, je sais tres bien ce qui est une litterature regionale. Les littératures anglo-canadienne et quebecoise sont des littératures regionales des États-Unis. La litterature Irlandaise est une litterature specifique a une ile dans l'archipel Britannique. Comme les deux littératures de mon pays, la litterature irlandaise est de tres grande qualité mais qui s'occupe souvent des questions profondement insulaire.

Cependant ces pieces qui so
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Abby
First, what I loved most about these plays are the language and how the phonetic words of the Irish from different classes are written on the page. I immediately heard them in my head and was put in the play's time and place. Each play is called a "Tragedy" and the collection is called O'Casey's Dublin Trilogy.

"Juno and the Paycock" takes place in 1922 and was the most vivid in my mind while reading it. 'Paycock' is the Irish way of saying 'peacock'. Paycock refers to Juno's ne'er do well husba
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Gregorio
Terribly sad, these are the plays to read if you want to read plays about the effects of terrorism and revolutions. Great works, all three, though Juno and the Paycock may be the best because the juxtaposition that lays in the transition from a near comedy to extreme tragedy makes it the hardest and the saddest of the three, and it also has the most memorable characters.
Holly
Irish tragi-comedy, a characteristic particular to the Irish character. Sean O'Casey belonged to the working class and here in these plays captures three Dublin families during the Irish Civil War. It's a fascinating look, and because it's in play form seems almost like listening in at a space in a time long gone. The characters are interesting and we simultaneously feel sorry and annoyed. It's especially tragic the Irish would have turned in on themselves after such a long run of horrors inflic ...more
Benjamin
They are all tragedies, so you know that all that wrong people are going to die by the end, but these are great. Lots of laughs, tears, song, and alcohol. Working class characters, but there's no whitewashing them, they are as ugly as they want to be ... I guess this stuff is social realism like Gorky or something but it doesn't seem too heavy handed ... until of course all the wrong people die. But actually, if they had lived, you'd think it was corny, so in the end, these are perfect and proba ...more
Ayne Ray
A renowned Irish playwright committed to socialist ideals, O'Casey was known for his realistic portrayal of Irish tenement life, fully realized female characters, and passion for the cause of Irish independence. Two of the greatest plays of the Irish canon are part of the Dublin plays: "Juno and the Paycock" (about a family in the tenement slums) and "The Plough and the Stars" (set during the time of the famous Easter Uprising of 1916).
Mag
read: juno and the paycock. (also saw the hitchcock film--which is great, although kinda hard to understand because it's one of his first talking pictures. seriously.)

juno's good. it's funny and interesting and, like all good plays, the last scenes knock you out. plus, there's tons of info about irish history so i really dig that on a personal level.
Kathryn
Increasingly depressing look at the destructive effects of war especially on those who believe most in what is being fought for. The dialect gets a little tricky, but it helped to read it out loud, which I guess makes sense since they are plays.
Alyson Bowers
Good plays- especially Juno and the Paycock. Alfred Hitchock actually made a movie out of the Juno play...but it really gives a new spin on the Easter Uprising of 1916(?) or around then. O'Casey is a great playwright
Frank O'connor
O'Casey's three plays all deal with Ireland's troubled past. They each share a tinge of melodrama, tight plotting, great staging and a genius for Dublin dialogue and character.
Lauren
Slightly different from what I usually read, I found them to be interesting and informative. I liked the perspective on Ireland and people that they gave me.
Gary Mesick
Darker, IRA-tinged writing, but still quite good and worth your time if you are looking for Irish drama beyond Beckett, Wilde and Shaw.
Lori
I had to read these for a class. I had never heard of Sean O'Casey before, but he's amazing. I am now an expert on Ireland.
Aaron
Jan 23, 2011 Aaron marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shwag from My Last Play
Mick Cloverloft
I have only read “Juno and the Paycock,” but loved the use of language.
Nicola
Dec 30, 2012 Nicola marked it as to-read
The Plough and the Stars was really, really good! <3
Cirque
Jun 12, 2011 Cirque added it
For a class, enjoyable but don't remember much
Robert Hyman
I read these in my "theatre stage" in the 1970s
Nicole Marino
Classic Irish drama - just truly fantastic works.
Ksenia
Mar 30, 2013 Ksenia added it
Shelves: grad-school
Read: Juno and the Paycock.
John
Each Play is rather good, Juno and the paycock swayed it to 5 stars,

'An' as it blowed an' blowed, I ofen looked at the stars an' assed meself the question: What are the stars? What are the stars?
Charlie Cook
Charlie Cook marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
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Seán O'Casey was a major Irish dramatist and memoirist. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.
More about Seán O'Casey...
Juno and the Paycock The Plough and the Stars Shadow of a Gunman The Silver Tassie Sean O'Casey - Autobiographies

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