By Flann O'Brien
Within the related spirit as his novels, O'Brien's performs are speculative, creative, wickedly humorous, and a pleasant addition to his accumulated works—now on hand ultimately: this quantity collects Flann O'Brien's dramatic paintings right into a unmarried quantity, together with Thirst, Faustus Kelly, and The Insect Play: A Rhapsody on Saint Stephen's Green. it is also a number of performs and teleplays that experience by no means sooner than visible print, together with The lifeless Spit of Kelly (of which a movie model is in creation via Michael Garland), The Boy from Ballytearim, and An Scian (only lately discovered), in addition to teleplays from the RTÉ sequence O'Dea's Your Man and Th'oul Lad of Kilsalaher.
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Extra resources for Collected Plays and Teleplays
117) Webster’s techniques, says Belsey, result in a play in which ‘the quasirealistic surface repeatedly dissolves into sententiae, meditations, and fables’ (123). Belsey’s concern is to expose the limitations of the liberal-humanist concept of ‘character’ in English Renaissance drama. 41 At a time of accelerating social change, and with his sister a ‘cultural voyager’, expressing her self-determination through marriage to a social inferior, Ferdinand is, for Whigham, ‘a threatened aristocrat, frightened by the contamination of his ascriptive social rank and obsessively preoccupied with its defence’, and his ‘incestuous inclination toward his sister [is] a social posture, of hysterical compensation – a desperate expression of the desire to evade degrading association with inferiors’ (169).
A key element in achieving this, Bliss argues, is Webster’s employment of distancing techniques in order to develop and alter perspectives. 40 ‘Contradictory structural elements in The Duchess of Malfi’, Belsey writes, generate a tension between its realist features – psychological plausibility and narrative sequence – and the formality of its design. Close analysis of the text reveals that the audience is repeatedly invited by the realist surface to expect the unfolding of a situation or the interplay of specific characters, only to find that 36 THE DUCHESS OF MALFI the actual constantly resolves into abstraction, the characters into figures in a pattern.
Like Shakespeare’, Luckyj writes, Webster uses repetitive form, de-emphasizing the play’s linear progression for the advantage of re-working and expanding his basic material. In the central acts of both his major tragedies, Webster repeats and modulates large dramatic sequences of events to clarify and intensify the direction of his play. (1) Thus Acts I and II begin alike, with Antonio and Delio greeting each other, and the opening of Act III is clearly designed to alert us to that fact, with Delio, welcomed back as Antonio was in Act I, commenting: Methinks ‘twas yesterday.