Michael McAteer examines the plays of W. B. Yeats, considering their place in European theatre during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This original study considers the relationship Yeats's work bore with those of the foremost dramatists of the period, drawing comparisons with Henrik Ibsen, Maurice Maeterlinck, August Strindberg, Luigi Pirandello and Ernst Toller. It also shows how his plays addressed developments in theatre at the time, with regard to the Naturalist, Symbolist, Surrealist and Expressionist movements, and how symbolism identified Yeats's ideas concerning labour, commerce and social alienation. This book is invaluable to graduates and academics studying Yeats but also provides a fascinating account for those in Irish studies and in the wider field of drama.
Michael McAteer is a lecturer at the School of English, Queen's University Belfast.
Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; List of illustrations; Introduction; Part I. Early Plays: 1. Revolutionary revelation: The Land of Heart's Desire, The Countess Cathleen, Cathleen ni Houlihan; 2. Space, language, power: The King's Threshold and Deirdre; Part II. The Cuchulain Cycle: 3. 'I'll Not Be Bound': On Baile's Strand and The Green Helmet; 4. The turn to Noh: At the Hawk's Well and The Only Jealous of Emer; 5. 'Everything Sublunary Must Change': The Death of Cuchulain; Part III. Later Plays: 6. 'The Heart of a Phantom is Beating': The Dreaming of the Bones and Calvary; 7. 'O Self-Born Mockers': The Player Queen, The Words Upon the Window-pane, The Herne's Egg; 8. History inside out: Purgatory; Conclusion.