Supernatural substitution and abduction in the drama of the Irish Revival

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2017, vol. 43, iss. 2, pp. [151]-164
Extent
[151]-164
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
This article investigates the ways in which the playwrights of the Irish Revival recycled local folk legends of fairy abductions which often featured stocks – pieces of magical wood moulded to resemble a human being – and changelings, supernatural beings secretly left in place of the kidnapped people and one of the most uncanny, familiar, yet disturbingly strange, liminal creatures in Irish folklore. After a brief overview of the cultural and aesthetic values of the period under discussion, and the most significant aspects of Irish folk stories of supernatural abductions and substitutions, I will examine plays written by William Butler Yeats and George Fitzmaurice that explicitly allude to these beliefs. In particular, I will focus on the question of whether these playwrights preserved the ambiguous and often menacing nature of the supernatural substitution in their works and whether they embraced those aspects of the traditional stories that could potentially have challenged the popular, idealized, pastoral image of Ireland.
Document
References:
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