The end of the ninetieth century, Ireland has been marked by the will of William Butler Yeats. Lady Augusta Gregory and Edward Martin had to perform in Dublin Celtic and Irish plays. This aimed at "bring[ing] upon the stage the deeper thoughts and emotions of Ireland [?] which [was] not found in theatres in England." The play, Cathleen Ní Houlihan, illustrates perfectly Yeats' intention of raising even higher the Irish spirit. This "transparent nationalist allegory" emphasizes two main aspects. On the one hand, I will try to show to what extent ?Cathleen Ní Houlihan' embodies Ireland through symbolic elements and references and on the other I will deal with the inter-textual implied by the symbolism in the text. The play Cathleen Ní Houlihan by W.B Yeats stages the eponym character who tells the family her sad tale, interspersed with songs about famous Irish heroes that had given their life for her.
[...] Symbolism and intertextuality in Cathleen Ní Houlihan by W.B Yeats Table of contents Introduction I To what extent does Cathleen Ní Houlihan embody Ireland trhough symbolic elements and references? I 1 Chronological elements I 2 The meaning of the presence of wind and fire I 2 wind I 2 fire I 3 The meaning of the names attributed to the characters in Cathleen Ní Houlihan I 3 Peter I 3 Bridget I 3 Michael I 3 Delia I 3 Cathleen I 3 Patrick I 4 Relating her own (hi)story I 4 Strangers in the house I 4 the four fields I 4 her lovers II Intertextuality implied by symbolism II 1 Cathleen's lovers II 1 Yellow-haired Donough II 1 O'Donnells II 1 Brian II 2 The Countess Cathleen II 3 Passing of the Gael” II 4 Tommy Makem II 5 Translation, Brian Friel II 6 My four Green Fields, by Eva Sydney Hone Conclusion Bibliography Introduction T he end of the ninetieth century in Ireland has been marked by the will of William Butler Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory and Edward Martin had to perform in Dublin Celtic and Irish plays. [...]
[...] This character is often assimilated to the character of Cathleen Ní Houlihan who herself fights to get back her entity and her goods. However, besides these written or sung media using the character of The Poor Old Woman or the images she uses, another medium was used by Eva Sydney Hone, to wit a stained glass window. II 6 My four Green Fields, by Eva Sydney Hone The window depicts the four provinces of Ireland and, though the composition is complex, emblems and symbols of the four provinces can be clearly seen. [...]
[...] The play is set in the small Irish town of Baile Beag and concerns itself with the appearance of members of the British Army whose undertaking is to translate place names in the area from ancient Irish Gaelic to the King's English. This clash of cultures which takes place in the play results in a series of misunderstandings and misinterpretations that serve to highlight the fact that language plays a central role in the development of society and civilization. The play seems to be saying that without a shared, common method of communication chaos will prevail and instability will rule the day. [...]
[...] Let us now focus on The Poor Old Woman, to wit Cathleen Ní Houlihan. I 4 Relating her own (hi)story Apart from her name Cathleen and the symbolism implied, The Poor Old Woman also gives clues herself to let us discover that she embodies Ireland. These elements will be divided into three main points, all concerning what she states herself about her life. I 4. Strangers in the house When Bridget asks Cathleen ‘what was it put you wandering?' the latter answers many strangers in the house'. [...]
[...] New York: G. Putnam's Sons pp. 27-30. [...]
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