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Sean O'Casey's last plays : a celebration of life Poggemiller, Marion 1968

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SEAN 0'CASEY'S LAST PLAYS: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE b y MARION POGGEMILLER B.A., University of British Columbia, 1957 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1968 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r agree that p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h.ils r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada ABSTRACT This thesis, "Sean 0'Casey's Last Plays: A Celebration of L i f e , " i s a study of 0'Casey's f i v e l a s t f u l l - l e n g th plays: Coek-A-Doodle Dandy, The Bishop's Bonfire, The Drums of Father Ned, Behind the Green Curtains, and Figuro i n the Night. The focus of the thesis i s on O'Casey's dramatiza-ti o n of man's s p i r i t u a l environment and c o n f l i c t s . My point of view i s that O'Casey i s presenting a very humanized r e l -igion of love. The plays are, i n fact, morality plays de-picting the struggle of the forces of good and e v i l f o r the soul of man. The f i r s t chapter of the thesis w i l l analyse the religious nature of the themes in O'Casey's morality plays. Chapter two w i l l discuss the relationship between the structure of the plays and the themes. Chapter three w i l l attempt to show that O'Casey uses theatrical effects as persuasive techniques to convince an audience of the v a l i d i t y of his themes. Each of the five plays dramatizes the struggle between the true religion of life-worship and the f a l s e f a i t h of the organized Church. The struggle i s made concrete through the presentation of various c o n f l i c t s . There i s the conflict between youth and age, between sexual expression and repres-sion, between love of l i f e and love of money, between celeb-ration and gloom, between freedom and restraint. At the centre of the conflict are two opposing priest figures. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, i t i s Father Domineer who fights against the j o y and beauty o f f e r e d by the Cock. Father Domineer wins when the Cock and h i s f o l l o w e r s f l e e i n search of a b e t t e r land. In The Bishop's B o n f i r e , there i s no escape to another l i f e . Father Canon p r e v a i l s over Father Boheroe, The Codger i s banished, K e e l i n and Manns must l i v e a l o v e -l e s s e x i s t e n c e , aud Foorawn i s shot. In The Brums of F a t h e r Ned, on the other hand, i t i s the f o r c e s of good that are completely v i c t o r i o u s . The m y t h i c a l Father Bed aud h i s f o l -lowers completely defeat Father F i l l i f o g u e . In Behind the Green C u r t a i n s , we are once again i n the r e a l world i n which the l o v e , kindness, and joy that Beoraan s t r u g g l e s f o r are defeated by the c r u e l t y and repression that Komavaun, the Church's l i e u t e n a n t , advocates. 0'Casey's c o n v i c t i o n , how-ever, that man can f i n d s a l v a t i o n i s presented i n F i g u r o i n the Night where the F i g u r o i s triumphant over a l l the repres sive elements of t r a d i t i o n a l b e l i e f s . To e x p l a i n h i s r e l i g i o n of l i f e and. l o v e , 0' Casey de-veloped a s t r u c t u r e of i n t e r l o c k i n g l e v e l s of f a r c e , s a t i r e , fantasy, and symbolism to r e p l a c e the t r a d i t i o n a l p l o t s t r u t ture of the drama. 0'Casey 1s l a s t plays have o n l y t i e most tenuous of plot l i n e s . I n s t e a d , the c o n f l i c t i s heightened by p l a y i n g o f f one l e v e l of development a g a i n s t another i n a dramatic c o u n t e r p o i n t . Each mode of development uses i t s own techniques, develops i t s p a r t i c u l a r type of c h a r a c t e r , and c l a r i f i e s i t s i n d i v i d u a l aspect of the theme. Although the l e v e l s are l a r g e l y independent of one a o t h e r , each, adds - i i i -c ontrasts and p a r a l l e l s to the comment made by the other l e v e l s to give density to the thematic statement of the plays. The second chapter of t h i s t h e s i s w i l l attempt to show how each of the s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l s of f a r c e , s a t i r e , fantasy, and symbolism work independently and how they are brought together into a thematic and t h e a t r i c a l climax. F i n a l l y , the t h e s i s w i l l examine the t h e a t r i c a l ef-f e c t s of the l a s t plays. In these plays, O'Casey uses a l l the possible v i s u a l and sound e f f e c t s of the theatre to make h i s themes convincing. E s s e n t i a l l y , the v i s u a l e f f e c t s of l i g h t i n g , costumes, and sets distance the audience from the events of the plays. Whereas, the sound e f f e c t s tend to involve the audience i n an emotional response to the ideas of the plays, not the events. Thus the t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s cause the audience to make an objective assessment of the theme of the plays and, at the same time, to take part i n the celebration of l i f e that i s presented i n the plays. CONTENTS Chapter Page I The R e l i g i o n of L i f e 1 I I Levels of Structure 49 I I I Involvement and Distance 91 Bibliography .....112 THE R E L I G I O N OF L I F E The e a r l y p l a y s o f S e a n 0'Casey f r o m The Shadow o f a Gunman t o The S i l v e r T a s s i e h a v e j u s t i f i a b l y r e c e i v e d a g r e a t d e a l o f c r i t i c a l a n d t h e a t r i c a l a c c l a i m . L i k e t h e p l a y s o f S y n g e , 0 *C a s e y ' s e a r l y p l a y s a r e c o n s i d e r e d c l a s s i c s o f m o d -e r n t h e a t r e . They a r e f r e q u e n t l y r e v i v e d b y p r o f e s s i o n a l a n d a m a t e u r g r o u p s t h r o u g h o u t Canada and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h e y a r e s t u d i e d i n s c h o o l s and u n i v e r s i t i e s , and t h e y a r e i n c l u d e d i n a n t h o l o g i e s o f modern d r a m a . P e r h a p s i t i s b e c a u s e o f t h e e a r l y r e c o g n i t i o n and s u c c e s s o f t h e s e p l a y s i n t h e t h e a t r e t h a t c r i t i c s have t e n d e d t o c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e e a r l y p l a y s and g e n e r a l l y i g n o r e 0 'C a s e y ' s l a t e r p l a y s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s c o n c e n t r a t i o n g i v e s a l i m i t e d a p p r e c i a t i o n t o a n a r t i s t l i k e 0'Casey who c o n s t a n t l y e x p e r i m e n t e d w i t h t h e f o r m o f t h e drama» P e r f e c t i n g t h e s o - c a l l e d r e a l i s t i c method o f t h e s e e a r l y p l a y s was n o t enough f o r O ' C a s e y . He seemed c o m p e l l e d t o e x p l o r e a n d d e v e l o p a s many d r a m a t i c m e t h o d s a s p o s s i b l e . T h u s , he moves f r o m r e a l i s m t o e x p r e s s i o n i s m t o s y m b o l i c c o m e d y . O ' C a s -e y T s d e v e l o p m e n t i s n o t , h o w e v e r , s o l e l y t h e r e s u l t o f e x p e r -i m e n t a t i o n w i t h f o r m and t e c h n i q u e . O ' C a s e y s h i f t s t h e f o c u s o f h i s p l a y s f r o m m a n ' s m a t e r i a l w o r l d i n t h e e a r l y p l a y s t o m a n ' s s p i r i t u a l w o r l d i n t h e l a t e r j p l a y s • B e c a u s e t h e e a r l y p l a y s o f O ' C a s e y have r e c e i v e d a g r e a t d e a l o f c r i t i c a l a t t e n -t i o n , a n d i n c r e a s i n g l y p e r c e p t i v e a t t e n t i o n ^ , I i n t e n d i n t h i s 1 M o d e r n D rama . I V (1961). The e s s a y s b y V i n c e n t C . DeBaun and K a t h e r i n e J . W o r t h i n t h i s O ' C a s e y i s s u e o f M o d e r n Drama o f f e r e x c e l l e n t s t u d i e s o f t h e e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c t e c h n i q u e s i n 0 'C a s e y ' s f i r s t p l a y s . -2-study to r e s t r i c t myself to the f i v e l a s t major plays of Sean O'Casey: Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. The Bishop's Bonfire. The Drums of Father Ned. Behind the Green Curtains, and Figuro i n the Night_. I w i l l attempt to show that the progression of 0'Cas-ey's design has led him i n these l a s t plays to a completely rel ig ious point of view. Because 0'Casey's r e l i g i o u s a t t i -tude i s embodied within the very t h e a t r i c a l i t y of these l a s t plays, I w i l l look at the r e l a t i o n between technique and idea of the plays within t h e i r t h e a t r i c a l context rather than as 2 s o l e l y l i t e r a r y works. Indeed, with his l a s t plays, O'Casey i s l i k e a prophet preaching a very humanized r e l i g i o n of love and joy. But he not only preaches, he del iberately exploits a l l the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of the stage to make his l i s t e n e r s a c t -u a l l y experience the love and joy he preaches. An analysis that focuses both on the r e l i g i o u s intent of the plays and the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of i t s presentation w i l l , I f e e l , suggest that at least Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. The Bishop's Bonfire. and The Drums of Father Ned are as worthy of t h e a t r i c a l and c r i t -i c a l acclaim as are O'Casey's early plays. Although many contemporary c r i t i c s s t i l l f e e l that 0'Casey's l a s t plays are a deterioration of talent rather than 2 Raymond Will iams, Drama from Ibsen to E l i o t (Middlesex, 1964). Mr. Williams argues that modern drama c r i t i c i s m must consider the l i t e r a r y merits of plays isolated from t h e i r the-a t r i c a l merits. Surely i t i s impossible to recognize the true form and technique of a play without considering i t as a pos-s i b l e production because a play i s not solely a l i t e r a r y form. - 3 -a g r o w t h ^ t h e t h r e e m a j o r c r i t i c a l s t u d i e s c u r r e n t l y a v a i l a b l e a c k n o w l e d g e t h e g r e a t n e s s p r e s e n t i n O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s . B e c a u s e t h e s e a u t h o r s d i s c u s s t h e e n t i r e O ' C a s e y c a n o n , t h e i r e m p h a s i s n a t u r a l l y d i f f e r s f r o m my own n a r r o w e r f o c u s o n t h e l a s t p l a y s o n l y . S a r o s C o w a s j e e i s c o n c e r n e d , a s t h e t i t l e o f h i s b o o k , Sean O ' C a s e y : The Man B e h i n d t h e P l a y s , s u g g e s t s , more w i t h t h e p e r s o n a l i t y o f O ' C a s e y t h a n w i t h t h e a r t i s t r y o f t h e p l a y s . T h u s , he s e e s t h e l a s t p l a y s a s d e v o t e d " t o r i d i -c u l i n g t h e c l e r g y f o r he (O 'Case^J i s a w r i t e r m a i n l y c o n -c e r n e d w i t h I r e l a n d " who " a t t e m p t s t o g i v e a c o m p r e h e n s i v e p i c -4 t u r e o f I r e l a n d . " O ' C a s e y ' s d e l i b e r a t e abandonment o f t h e r e -a l i s t i c s t r u c t u r e , h i s v i v i d s y m b o l i s m , and h i s f r e q u e n t r e f -e r e n c e s t o l i f e o u t s i d e p r e s e n t - d a y I r e l a n d s u g g e s t , h o w e v e r , t h a t M r . C o w a s j e e ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t o o l i m i t e d . C e r t a i n l y t h e p l a y s a r e g r o u n d e d , as M r . C o w a s j e e s t a t e s , i n t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y I r i s h s c e n e , b u t t h e y a r e a l s o f i l l e d w i t h a n a t m o s p h e r e o f f a n t a s y and m a g i c t h a t t a k e s t h e m b e y o n d j u s t t h e l o c a l s c e n e . P a r t l y b e c a u s e s o many c r i t i c s s a i d t h a t O ' C a s e y l o s t t o u c h w i t h t h e I r i s h p e o p l e and t h e I r i s h s i t u a -t i o n , O ' C a s e y , o n v a r i o u s o c c a s i o n s , h a s gone t o some l e n g t h s t o show how much t h e e v e n t s o f t h e s e p l a y s a r e a p a r t o f t h e 3 G a b r i e l F a l l o n , S e a n O ' C a s e y : - The Man I Knew ( L o n d o n , 1 9 6 5 ) . E v e n a s l a t e a s 1 9 6 5 , Mr . F a l l o n s t i l l a c c e p t s t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s a r e f a i l u r e s . 4 S a r o s C o w a s j e e , S e a n O ' C a s e y : The Man B e h i n d t h e P l a y s ( L o n d o n , 1963 ) p . 2 1 1 . current I r i s h scene? This 'Irishness' gives the plays an added facet of f a s c i n a t i o n through the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l com-mentary that i s made. P r i m a r i l y , however, O'Casey uses the I r i s h background because, as he says, i t i s only through an I r i s h scene that my imagination can weave a way, w i t h i n the I r i s h shadows or out i n the I r i s h sunshine, i f i t i s to have a f u l l or at l e a s t a f a i r , chance to p l a y . 0 I t should be apparent that O'Casey used an I r i s h l o c a l e not to help the world understand the I r i s h s i t u a t i o n , but to help the world understand i t s e l f more c l e a r l y . I n the same New York Times a r t i c l e quoted above, O'Casey states h i s reason e x p l i c i t y . The a c t i o n manifests i t s e l f i n Ireland, the mouths that speak are I r i s h mouths; but the s p i r i t i s to be found i n a c t i o n everywhere: the f i g h t made by many t o drive the joy of l i f e from the hearts of men; the f i g h t against t h i s f i g h t to vindicate the r i g h t of the joy of l i f e to l i v e courageously i n the hearts of men. David Krause, whose study also tends to emphasize the bi o g r a p h i c a l , sees O'Casey's l a s t plays p r i m a r i l y as s a t i r e s -'•Jonsonian c o r r e c t i v e s " i n which "the aim i s the scourge and defeat of the r i d i c u l o u s apes."? Mr. Krause, however, f i n d s that the farce scenes of the comedies e x i s t simply "to provoke 5 See, f o r example, "Bonfire under a Black Sun" i n 0'Casey's The Green Crow (New York, 1956), pp. 145-154. 6 Sean O'Casey i n Cowasjee, p. 2110 7 David Krause, Sean O'Casey: The Man and His Work (London, I960), p. 1W. - 5 -laughter that is gratuitous." Because farce is a major part of each of the last plays, a view such as Mr. Krause's would seem to be rather incomplete. Robert Hogan's book, The Ex-periments of Sean O'Casey, helps to complete the picture be-gun by Mr. Krause. Robert Hogan ignores theme almost com-pletely in his attempt to analyse the formal development of O'Casey. Mr. Hogan offers some very illuminating comments on the structure of the last plays. It is what he calls "the comic, illustrative structure" of such novels as Don Quixote, Tom Jones, The Pickwick Papers, and Lucky Jim in which ironic Q effectiveness is achieved by juxtaposition. There is almost no excuse for giving such an oversimp-lified summary of three excellent critical works. My only justification is that such an abridgment indicates the emer-gence of critical approval of O'Casey's last plays, and at the same time indicates that there are a number of approaches to O'Casey s t i l l to be explored. To gain a ful l appreciation of a dramatist, one must consider the play as a play because theatrical presentation is a basic aspect of the form of the play. A final evaluation cannot rely only on a purely liter-ary analysis. Eventually the critic must consider a play-wright 's intention, the effect he hopes to achieve on an aud-ience , and, of course, how he achieves his effect. The last 8 Krause, p. 177. 9 Robert Hogan, The Experiments of Sean O'Casey (New York, I960), p. 123. plays of Sean O'Casey have not as yet been discussed as plays f o r the theatre, Marshall McLuhan's now famous idea that "the medium i s the message""*"^ can probably be applied to any play, A play depends upon the i n t e r p l a y of audience involve-ment and distance. One need only consider the number of plays that discuss the nature of r e a l i t y to accept, at lea s t tenta-t i v e l y , the notion that the medium of the play i t s e l f c o n t r i -butes to the "message" i t o f f e r s , Mr. McLuhan's concept i s c e r t a i n l y an e x c i t i n g one when related to the l a s t O'Casey plays i n which the very t h e a t r i c a l i t j r of tnese plays i s a v i t a l -part of 'O'Casey's message of joy and love. Of course, the idea, the form, and the techniques of O'Casey's l a s t plays were not a great i l l u m i n a t i o n , a sudden and abrupt change from his e a r l i e r work. Like the development of most a r t i s t s , O'Casey's growth follows a l o g i c a l and per-ceptible pattern. Therefore, before concentrating on the l a s t plays s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t would be wise to look b r i e f l y at the idea and technique of the e a r l i e r plays i n order to account f o r the seemingly unique approach of the l a s t plays. The i n c l u s i o n of an extraordinary e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c act within a b a s i c a l l y r e a l i s t i c framework of both The S i l v e r Tas-sie and Red Roses f o r Me marks O'Casey as an e x c i t i n g experi-menter with the dramatic form. Even e a r l i e r than these plays, however, with h i s so-called r e a l i s t i c dramas, O'Casey seems to 10 Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (New York, 196/..) , p. 7 . -7-be struggling to break out of the confines of realism. O'Cas-ey himself has more than once expressed his dissatisfaction •with realism as a dramatic technique 0 This rage for re a l , real l i f e on the stage has taken a l l the l i f e out of the drama Less of what the c r i t i c s c a l l " l i f e " , and more of symbolism; f o r even i n the most common-place of r e a l i s t i c plays the symbol can never be absent. A house on a stage can never be a house, and that which represents i t must always be a symbol. A room i n a r e a l i s t i c play must always be a symbol f o r a room.H From his f i r s t f u l l - l e n g t h play, O'Casey uses both symbolism and farce to break down the tra d i t i o n a l plot structure of the r e a l i s t i c play and provide added levels of irony. In his pre-expressionistic dramas, O'Casey uses both a t y p i c a l l y r e a l i s t i c symbolism which arises naturally out of the action, and also a symbolism which has no r e a l i s t i c purpose i n the plays. Thus we have characters such as Mrs. Tancred i n Juno and the Pay-cock or Mollser i n The Plough and the Stars, for example, who contribute almost nothing to the development of the plot and whose symbolic significance far overshadows their r e a l i s t i c presentation. Even the use of colours, of flowers, of music, of church traditions i n the early plays tends to relate less to actual events and characters within the plays than i t does to the whole human condition. Certainly 0'Casey's treatment of war i n these early plays i s not t y p i c a l l y r e a l i s t i c . He i s never really discussing a particular war, but rather using war to symbolize that which i s e v i l and destructive i n human soc-11 "The Green Goddess of Realism," The Green Crow, pp. S3-S4 . -8-i e t y . It would be possible to give many examples of O'Casey's non-realistic use of symbolism i n the early plays, but the few references I have given w i l l be sufficient to show that even i n his early plays O'Casey uses symbolism to distance his aud-ience, to carry i t s view beyond the particular. I t i s this almost abstract symbolism that O'Casey develops i n his compar-atively dehumanized expressionistic dramas. And i t i s thi s kind of symbolism that O'Casey develops i n the last plays both to carry much of the message and to form a basic element of the structure. In the last plays, O'Casey i s once again able to place the symbolism within stylized but very possible human situations as opposed to his use of symbolism within the highly patterned formulae of his expressionistic plays• One other important element of the early plays that O'Cas-ey i s to u t i l i z e so successfully l a t e r i s that of farce. Again, his use of farce distances an audience .too much for a typ i c a l l y r e a l i s t i c involvement. The gloriously improbable farce scenes have almost become the proof of O'Casey's genius i n these early plays. A l l the Boyle-Joxer scenes i n Juno and the Paycock have their f a r c i c a l overtones, but perhaps the most delightful i s the marvelous scene near the end of Act I i n which Joxer is constantly leaping out on to the window ledge to escape the wrath of Juno. That the farce scenes can add a biting ironic comment i s clearly v i s i b l e i n The Plough and the Stars and the wonderful barroom brawl between Bessie Burgess and Mrs. Gogan. The men's war games suddenly become j u s t a s l u d i c r o u s a s t h e l a d i e s ' b e e r y b a t t l e . The S i l v e r T a s s i e a n d Red R o s e s f o r Me l i k e w i s e u s e f a r c e a s i r o n i c c o m -m e n t a r y . I n h i s p u r e l y e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c p l a y s , h o w e v e r , a s h i s d i d a c t i c p u r p o s e b e c o m e s o v e r - e m p h a s i z e d , O ' C a s e y t e n d s t o u s e l e s s a n d l e s s f a r c e . W i t h h i s f i n a l p l a y s , t h o u g h , O ' C a s -e y i s a b l e t o i n t e g r a t e t h e f a r c e w i t h t h e message and s t r u c -t u r e e v e n more e f f e c t i v e l y t h a n he h a d done e a r l i e r . A s a m a t u r i n g a r t i s t O ' C a s e y o b v i o u s l y r e c o g n i z e d t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f h i s u s e o f s y m b o l i s m and f a r c e and was a b l e t o d e v e l o p t h e m a l o n g w i t h f a n t a s y and s a t i r e i n t o a new d r a m a t i c s t r u c t u r e i n h i s f i v e l a s t p l a y s . 0 * C a s e y ' s e a r l y s t r u g g l e s t o b r e a k t h e c o n f i n e s o f r e a l -i s m w e r e p r o b a b l y c a u s e d n o t s o much b y h i s d e s i r e t o e x p e r i -ment a s by h i s p o i n t o f v i e w t o w a r d s h i s human s u b j e c t . 0 ' C a s -e y ' s p o i n t o f v i e w moves f r o m a c o n c e r n w i t h m a n ' s m a t e r i a l w e l l - b e i n g t o m a n ' s s o c i a l w e l f a r e t o m a n ' s s p i r i t u a l w e l l -b e i n g . W i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f P u r p l e B u s t , a l l t h e p l a y s b e f o r e C o c k - A - B o o d l e Dandy a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e e f f e c t o f t h e e x -t e r n a l w o r l d on t h e c h a r a c t e r s . T h e s e p l a y s a r e , i n f a c t , s o c i a l l y o r i e n t e d . C o c k - A - B o o d l e Dandy and t h e p l a y s w h i c h f o l l o w i t p r e s e n t m a n ' s s p i r i t u a l e n v i r o n m e n t and c o n f l i c t s . I n O ' C a s e y ' s s o - c a l l e d r e a l i s t i c p l a y s , we s e e t h e e f -f e c t s o f w a r , p o v e r t y , and o p p r e s s i o n on t h e i n d i v i d u a l . The i n n o c e n t n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t s s u f f e r t h e g r e a t e s t d e p r i v a t i o n and p a i n . T h i s n e e d l e s s s u f f e r i n g i s , i n t h e s e p l a y s , p r e s e n t e d i n t e r m s o f m a t e r i a l p h y s i c a l l o s s . M i n n i e P o w e l l i n Shadow -10-o f a Gunman l o s e s h e r l i f e b e c a u s e o f t h e d a n g e r o u s g l o r i f i -c a t i o n o f f a l s e h e r o i s m t h a t w a r p r o d u c e s . J u n o ' s b e a u t y and c r e a t i v i t y i n J u n o and t h e P a y c o e k a r e s a c r i f i c e d i n t h e s t r u g -g l e w i t h t h e d e s t r u c t i v e power o f p o v e r t y a n d t h e c h a o s o f w a r . H e r home i s d e s t r o y e d , h e r d a u g h t e r ' s f u t u r e i s r u i n e d , and h e r s o n i s k i l l e d . I n The P l o u g h and t h e S t a r s . N o r a , h e r b a b y , and h e r h u s b a n d , B e s s i e B u r g e s s , a n d M o l l s e r a l l m i g h t h a v e b e e n s a v e d b u t f o r t h e f u t i l e w a r and p r e v e n t a b l e p o v e r t y . The S i l v e r T a s s i e and Red R o s e s f o r Me a l s o f o c u s o n t h e p h y s -i c a l s u f f e r i n g o f one i n d i v i d u a l i n c o n d i t i o n s o f w a r and p o v -e r t y . H a r r y H e e g a n ' s agony i s c a u s e d n o t b y s p i r i t u a l p a i n b u t b y t h e k n o w l e d g e t h a t t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d no l o n g e r h a s a n y m e a n i n g f o r h i m . Ayamonn B r e y d o n must g i v e u p h i s a r t i s t i c p u r s u i t s , t h e l o v e o f S h e i l a , and f i n a l l y h i s l i f e i n t h e l i t -e r a l f i g h t a g a i n s t p o v e r t y . I n t h e s e l a s t two p l a y s , t h e p h y s -i c a l n a t u r e o f s u f f e r i n g i s g r e a t l y e m p h a s i z e d by t h e s t y l i -z a t i o n o f p r e s e n t a t i o n and t h e i m a g e r y o f l a n g u a g e . B e c a u s e , h o w e v e r , a l l f i v e p l a y s c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e i n d i v i d u a l i n h i s p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t , t h e r e i s a b a s i c b u t f l e x i b l e r e a l i s m i n t r e a t m e n t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . When O ' C a s e y t u r n s h i s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e f u n c t i o n s o f s o c -i e t y a n d t h e way t h e s e f u n c t i o n s a r e c a r r i e d o u t , h i s t r e a t -ment becomes more s t y l i z e d a s he a t t e m p t s t o show t h e s u f f e r -i n g and c h a o s o f p o v e r t y , w a r , and o p p r e s s i o n a f f l i c t i n g n o t i n d i v i d u a l s , b u t l a r g e g r o u p s o f p e o p l e . I t i s t h i s v e r y s h i f t o f a t t e n t i o n f r o m t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o t h e g r o u p t h a t makes t h e s e -11-plays - Within the Gates, The Star Turns Red, and Oak Leaves and Lavender - diagrams for social improvement rather than dramas of compelling human interest. Even Within the Gates and a l l i t s emphasis on the Dreamer's attempts to save Jan-nice 's soul suggests very strongly that to banish poverty would be to banish Jannice's misery, the Down-and-Outs, and the control of the pseudo-religious hypocrites. The expres-sionistic plays, like the realistic plays, keep us in the realm of man's physical world. They preach social, political betterment within the actual world. Of O'Casey's three expressionistic plays, only Within the Gates suggests that man is involved in a struggle that goes beyond just the attempt to correct social evils. The characters of Within the Gates suffer spiritual as well as material poverty, and i t i s the depicted struggle with spi r i t -ual poverty that points out the thematic direction O'Casey's later plays will take. Within the Gates is O'Casey's f i r s t dramatization of the battle between the true religion of l i f e -worship and the false faith of the organized Church. The play is indeed religious in i t s point of view as many critics have pointed out, but i t i s hardly "the most Christian of O'Casey's 12 plays" as Saros Cowasjee would have us believe. As Mr. Cow-as jee notes i n his study, O'Casey uses the symbolism and lang-uage of the Church and even the structure of the Breviary, but these are surely used as an ironic commentary on the practices 12 Cowasjee, p. 143• -12-of the C h r i s t i a n Church, f o r against these are placed and praised the pagan r i t u a l of the Maypole, the r i t e s of the sea-sons, the release of the dance and songs of l i f e . Because, however, of the emphasis on the external s o c i a l problems and the f a i l u r e of the stage e f f e c t s to integrate the s p i r i t u a l theme with the material theme, Within the Gates remains a part of the experimental s o c i a l l y oriented plays and i s only a probing towards the synthesis of the f i n a l plays. Purple Dust, l i k e Within the Gates, thematically and t e c h n i c a l l y points to the l a t e r plays. Technically i t i s i n -t e r e s t i n g because here O'Casey uses farce as the basic s t r u c t -u r a l u n i t to depict a p a r t i a l l y s p i r i t u a l theme. Each act of the play i s b u i l t around one major farce a c t i o n . Aet I b u i l d s to the ludicrous entrance of B a s i l c a r r i e d i n battered and bruised a f t e r h i s attempt at r i d i n g an I r i s h horse and i s top-ped by the Yellow-Bearded Man poking h i s head through a hole i n the c e i l i n g to hear the news of A v r i l r i d i n g o f f "stark naked". His h i l a r i o u s comment "with aggravated anguish i n h i s voice" closes the act: " I t ' s l i k e me to be up here outa sight o' the world with great things happenin'J" Act I I increases the buffoonery. There i s the d e l i c i o u s scene of Poges' t e r r i -f i e d encounter with a very mild cow which i s followed by the even more riot o u s scene of Poges' entrance and chaotic e x i t w ith an enormous i r o n r o l l e r . Act I I I continues the f a r c i c a l development with one major scene, the decidedly s l a p s t i c k and uproariously funny scene i n which the quatto-centro desk makes -13-i t s entrance. Pttrple Dust uses throughout a technique which O'Casey develops and refines in his later plays - intensifi-cation through farce. In this play the building of climaxes, the tension of character conflict, and the development of theme a l l rely on the farcical struggle between the ludicrous representatives of evil and idealized representatives of good. The intensity of the farce i s weakened, however, by the over-idealization of the forces of good and by an unexpected inclu-sion of fantasy at the end of the play. Because Purple Dust suffers from a diffuseness of purpose and effect and i s just a partial treatment of man's spiritual existence, i t too can only be thought of as pointing to the final synthesis. O'Casey is obviously s t i l l searching for the exact form in which to ex-press his religion of joy. The major link that Within the Gates and Purple Dust provides with O'Casey's later plays is in the partial depic-tion of man's spiritual l i f e . O'Casey moves from man's outer world of social, material problems to man's inner world of religious, moral questions. Growing up in Dublin, O'Casey was constantly surrounded by bigotry of the most violent sort. Cruelty and destructiveness were encouraged in a mistaken idea of piety. He witnessed and was often the victim of most un-christian actions by both Catholic and Protestant ministers of a Christian God of love. The question of God's allegiance to Catholics or Protestants could always promote heated dis-cussion. But only a few, condemned by Protestant and Catholic -14-alike, dared to deny the existence of either God or man's eternal soul. Damnation, salvation, and God were painfully real to most Dubliners. O'Casey, like almost every other Irish writer of note, was profoundly affected by this fer-vent religiosity. Christian practices and beliefs form a large part of a l l O'Casey's writing. He returns again and again in his autobiographies to the Church's professions and practices in the name of religion. O'Casey's own faith in Christian doctrine did not long survive the onslaught of his extensive reading. Sometimes he wished Darwin had never come into the house. He had upset everything. Everything was different from what they were before he ram-bled in to drag him down from the thoughts of sun-tinted clouds airily sailing the blue sky, a rug under God's feet, and force him to take an open-eyed survey of frogs and toads splashing about in the sedgy wharfage of a pond or the speary bulrushes of a marsh For Sean, lif e was to begin a l l over again; i f he decided to think on, and who wouldn't do that?..•. He had been deceived by babblers ready to live, to love, and to die in the irised lure of a pretty fairy tale. 1? In spite of the loss of Christian faith, however, O'Casey's very personal religious attitude developed and grew stronger and finally found expression in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and the plays which followed i t . The last plays of Sean O'Casey are not included in any of the existing anthologies of religious plays such as the 13 Sean O'Casey, Drums Under the Windows (London, 1945), p. 94. -15-Meridian c o l l e c t i o n ^ Nor are they included i n c r i t i c a l stud-i e s of r e l i g i o u s drama^ Yet, the l a s t plays of O'Casey are pr i m a r i l y concerned with man's s p i r i t u a l nature and governed by a r e l i g i o u s point of view. O'Casey has himself s a i d , " I f a play i s what i t ought to be i t must be a r e l i g i o u s f unc-tion.ftJ-° And i t i s t h i s r e l i g i o u s q u a l i t y that c h i e f l y d i s -tinguishes O'Casey from many of h i s contemporaries. The point of view of the n a t u r a l i s t s and most of the expression-i s t s i s a d i r e c t r e s u l t of l a t e nineteenth-century determin-ism. The absurdists, who depict man's pathetic search f o r purpose i n a meaningless world, are a part of the general twentieth-century b e l i e f i n ultimate i r r a t i o n a l i t y that would seem to be a development from determinism. 0'Casey's point of view i s a r e s u l t of a f i r m b e l i e f i n moral values and an absolute f a i t h i n man's inherent goodness - man has the poss-i b i l i t y of s a l v a t i o n w i t h i n him. The r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e i s one of f a i t h i n eternal v a l -ues. I t i s man's personal r e l a t i o n to the inta n g i b l e that i s stressed i n most d e f i n i t i o n s of r e l i g i o n . A l f r e d North 14 Marvin Halverson, ed., Religious Drama (New York, 1959). This c o l l e c t i o n of contemporary r e l i g i o u s drama contains plays by wr i t e r s as diverse as ¥. H. Auden, D. H. Lawrence, e e cummings. 15 Robert Speaight, C h r i s t i a n Theatre (New York, I960). Mr. Speaight's work i s t y p i c a l or studies of r e l i g i o u s drama. The major emphasis i s on early s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n works with a b r i e f survey of contemporary drama. 16 New York Times. Oct. 21, 1934, Sec. 10, p. 1. -16-W h i t e h e a d , f o r e x a m p l e , d e f i n e s r e l i g i o n a s " t h e a r t a n d t h e t h e o r y o f t h e i n t e r n a l l i f e o f m a n , so f a r a s i t d e p e n d s on t h e man h i m s e l f and what i s pe rmanent i n t h e n a t u r e o f t h i n g s . . . . . R e l i g i o n i s what t h e i n d i v i d u a l d o e s w i t h h i s own s o l i -17 t a r i n e s s . " P r o b a b l y most d e f i n i t i o n s o f r e l i g i o n i n c l u d e a d i s c u s s i o n o f m a n ' s r e l a t i o n t o a n d b e l i e f i n some d i v i n e b e i n g . I f b e l i e f i n a d i v i n e b e i n g w e r e e s s e n t i a l t o t h e r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e , n e i t h e r O ' C a s e y n o r h i s p l a y s c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d r e l i g i o u s . Y e t , a s J u l i a n H u x l e y p o i n t s o u t , B u d d h i s m i n i t s o r i g i n a l f o r m d o e s n o t p r o f e s s b e l i e f i n a n y s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g . F o r M r . H u x l e y a n d o t h e r c o n t e m p o r a r y t h i n k e r s , r e l i g i o n c a n e x i s t w i t h o u t a n y b e l i e f i n a p e r s o n a l g o d . R e l i g i o n i s r a t h e r a way o f l i f e w h i c h f o l l o w s n e c e s s a r i l y f r o m a m a n ' s h o l d i n g c e r t a i n t h i n g s i n r e v e r e n c e f r o m h i s f e e l i n g and b e l i e v i n g t h e m t o be s a c r e d . And t h o s e t h i n g s w h i c h a r e h e l d s a c -r e d by r e l i g i o n p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n human d e s t -i n y and t h e f o r c e s w i t h w h i c h i t comes i n c o n t a c t . 19 The d e f i n i t i o n s o f b o t h H u x l e y a n d W h i t e h e a d a d m i r a b l y d e s c r i b e Sean O ' C a s e y ' s a t t i t u d e . O ' C a s e y h o l d s l i f e i t s e l f t o b e s a c r e d . L i f e ' s pe rmanent v a l u e s a r e j o y , b e a u t y , and l o v e . T h e r e f o r e a n y t h i n g w h i c h p r e v e n t s man f r o m f e e l i n g 1 7 A l f r e d N o r t h W h i t e h e a d , R e l i g i o n i n t h e M a k i n g (New Y o r k , 1 9 2 7 ) , p . 1 6 . 18 J u l i a n H u x l e y , R e l i g i o n w i t h o u t R e v e l a t i o n (New Y o r k , 1 9 5 7 ) , P . 1 . 19 H u x l e y , p . 9 . -17 and expressing joy; anything which blinds man to a l l the beauty around him; anything which causes man to feel hatred, cruelty, and repression instead ©f love is evil and must be eradicated. At the same time, education, technological pro-gress, scientific advances must be praised because they will help to make it possible for a l l men to partake of the love, joy, and beauty of l i f e . That O'Casey thinks of education, technology, and science as religious activities is evident throughout his prose works. In Rose and Crown, for example, he states: Man is busy now with a new exorcism - the expulsion of disease from man and animal and plant, defending the holy tissue of the flesh from pollution of virus and of bug; the exorcism of fear from man's way of life that he may stand up and speak out and laugh loud. Exorcism that calls for no candle, bell, or book, cassock or stole; a church where the altar is a table, the god a micro-scope ; the ritual a bold imagination, a peer-ing eye, a ceaseless searching mind; so that health may be sanctity, energy prayer, and the achievements of men and the play of child-ren most acceptable praises to God. 0 The advances of science and technology are not enough, however. Belief in the sacredness of all l i f e must be a part of man's dealings with his fellow man. The lack of joy, beauty, and love that this belief in life's sanctity causes is most apparent in political activities and the organized Church. There can be no doubt that O'Casey turned to an 20 Sean O'Casey, Rose and Crown (London, 1952), pp. 172 173. -18-idealization of Communism because he felt i t would bring the finer things of life to a l l men and because he thought of i t as a religious force. O'Casey felt that the 1917 Russian Revolution was "the Spirit of God once more moving over the 21 face of the waters." It is man beginning to work out his own salvation. Man must be his own saviour; man must be his own god. Man must learn, not by prayer, but by experience. Advice from God was within ourselves, and nowhere else. Social sense and social development was the ful-fillment of the law and the prophets. A happy people made happy by themselves. There is no other name given among men by which we can be saved, but by the mighty name of Man. 2 Not only has the religious attitude affected O'Casey's personal way of life and his political beliefs, but i t has also become a vital part of his artistry and his literary judgment. For O'Casey, as for a good many other writers, 23 the artist must "be where life is, active l i f e . " J But i f this 'life-centre• is not apparent in a writer's work, he is a lesser artist, no matter how skillful, as far as O'Casey is concerned. While recognizing the craftsmanship of both T.S. Eliot and Hugh MacDiarmid, O'Casey much prefers Mac-Diarmid because, in O'Casey's opinion, MacDiarmid can be a 21 Sean O'Casey, Sunset and Evening Star (London, 1954), p. 123. 22 Sunset and Evening Star, p. 251. 23 The Green Crow, p. 173. -19-part of th© coarseness of l i f e as well as the refinement; he can appreciate the joyousness of l i f e as well as the des-olation, and E l i o t cannot. These qualities make MacDiarmid a more religious poet than E l i o t . An' who can claim a share i n God who does not take the part of man? To Sean's mind Hugh MacDiarmid makes far more of the This-t l e as a symbol for God and man than T.S. E l i o t does of the Rose of Sharon.24 For the same reasons, O'Casey dismisses Kafka, Beckett, Ionesco, Greene, Genet, Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Camus as fine writers but life-frighteners rather than life-worship-pers. Every sentence they write abandons l i f e , yet they cling to i t as the ivy clings to the wall; they grip l i f e with a l l t heir might, and c a l l a doctor when they f e e l a cold coming: they refuse to l i v e and t r y to stop others from l i v i n g either. Our world has grandeur and l i f e has hope. In spite of the despairs of the American beats and the European wailers, the lark i n the clear a i r s t i l l sings the melody of hope; and hope i n action w i l l do great things everlastingly«*5 For O'Casey, the Elizabethans and a few modern writers l i k e Shaw, Yeats, and Joyce come closer to God than a l l the Church's c l e r i c s and most of the commonly recognized r e l i g -ious writers because the works of these truly religious writ-24 Sunset and Evening Star, p. 113. 25 Sean O'Casey, Under a Coloured Cap (London, 1963), pp. 136. -20-ers contain the song and dance of life and the vigorous laughter of l i f e . None of them was afraid of emotional pas-sion or bold imagination. Certainly they often felt despair at the human condition, but their protests were monumental not puny whimpers of misery. In Sunset and Evening Star. O'Casey presents a witty portrait of Shaw, Yeats, and Joyce as Bishops working real salvation and giving real blessings. nThey are man's saints; our saints, registered in the wide church of humanity."^ In this amusing picture particularly, but also throughout the autobiographies, O'Casey reveals his major complaint against the Church. The Church has lost its religion. It has become clerical instead of Christian. In his last plays, O'Casey presents in full , the two-part pic-ture of this miniature satire in Sunset and Evening Star - a picture of true religion and a denunciation of the organized Church's Lack of religion. David Krause has called Cock-A-Doodle Dandy a "comic 27 morality with a universal theme for men of a l l countries," and this is a description which also applies to The Bishop's Bonfire, The Drums of Father Ned, Behind the Green Curtains. and Figure in the Night. Each of the five plays presents through allegorical figures the struggle of the forces of good and evil for the soul of man. In this struggle is em-26 Sunset and Evening Star, p. 236. 27 Krause, p. 188. - 2 1 -b o d i e d a d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e way t o s a l v a t i o n . As i n a l l m o r a l i t i e s , t h i s d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e way t o s a l v a t i o n c o n -t a i n s i n i t t h e r u l e s and p a t t e r n o f a way o f l i f e o n e a r t h . A t t h e same t i m e , t h e t e m p t a t i o n s t o f a l l away f r o m t h e ' t r u e * way o f l i f e i n t o s i n a r e v i v i d l y d r a m a t i z e d and g i v e n i n t e n -s i t y t h r o u g h t h e w a r n i n g o f i m m i n e n t d e s t r u c t i o n a n d d e a t h . The r e w a r d a n d p r o m i s e o f r e m a i n i n g f a i t h f u l t o t h e t r u e r e l -i g i o n m u s t , o f c o u r s e , a l s o be d r a m a t i c a l l y p r e s e n t e d . B y b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r t h e s e e l e m e n t s o f t h e m o r a l i t y p l a y , O ' C a s -e y , i n h i s l a s t f i v e p l a y s , g i v e s u s a d r a m a t i c d e f i n i t i o n o f h i s r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e * I n a l l f i v e p l a y s t h e f o r c e s o f good a r e g o v e r n e d b y a g o d o f l o v e and t h e f o r c e s o f e v i l by a f a l s e god o f p o w e r a n d t e r r o r . I n C o c k - A - D o o d l e D a n d y , t h i s god o f l o v e i s r e p -r e s e n t e d b y h i s h i g h p r i e s t o n e a r t h , t h e d e l i g h t f u l c o c k who w a g e s a c o n s t a n t , i f l o s i n g , b a t t l e o f m a g i c a n d g a i e t y a g a i n s t F a t h e r D o m i n e e r , t h e v i c i o u s h i g h p r i e s t o f t h e f a l s e r e l i g i o n . T h e s e c h a r a c t e r s a r e c o m p l e t e l y u n r e a l i s t i c , o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f good and e v i l a s a r e t h e i r m e s s e n g e r s R o b i n A d a i r , whose m u s i c and commentary c a r r y t h e message o f t h e p l a y and a r e l i n k e d d i r e c t l y w i t h t h e C o c k , and S h a n a a r , t h e c o m i c and r a t h e r f r i g h t e n i n g " L a t i n - l u s t r o u s o u l ' c o d o f a p r a y e r - b l o w e r ? and O n e - E y e d L a r r y , a h o r r i b l e l i t t l e c r e a -28 S e a n O ' C a s e y , C o c k - A - D o o d l e D a n d y . C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , I V ( L o n d o n , 1 9 5 1 ) , 1 4 8 . A l l q u o t a t i o n s f r o m O ' C a s e y ' s p l a y s have b e e n t a k e n f r o m t h e f o l l o w i n g e d i t i o n s . C o l l e c t e d P l a y s . 4 v o l s . ( L o n d o n , 1 9 5 1 - 7 ) . -22-ture whose nasty f a n t a s i e s are encouraged by Father Domineer and the Church. These are the f i g u r e s then, who struggle f o r the souls of the remaining characters i n the play. The c l i -max of t h i s struggle occurs during the f a n t a s t i c and h i l a r -ious exorcism scene of Scene I I I . The stage d i r e c t i o n s give an i n d i c a t i o n of the magnitude of t h i s s t r u g g l e . Screeches l i k e those of barn owls are heard from the house, with the "too-whit too who©8* of other kinds, the c a c k l i n g of hens, and the loud cawing of crows The house shakes again; the f l a g - p o l e t o t t e r s and f a l l s f l a t ; blue and red l i g h t n i n g f l a s h e s from the win-dow, and a great peal of thunder drums through the garden. Then a l l becomes suddenly s i l e n t . They a l l hang on to each other, s h i v e r i n g with f e a r , except Loreleen. (p. 198). When the limping and maimed, but e l a t e d , Father Domineer em-erges from the l u r c h i n g house, a symbol of Ireland, we know that the Cock with h i s s p i r i t of love and joy has indeed been banished from the land, the powers of darkness are v i c t o r i o u s . But i t i s not a complete v i c t o r y f o r the Cock has i n s p i r e d at l e a s t the women with the true r e l i g i o n of love and joy. Even I (1957) Juno and the Paycock; The Shadow of a Gunman; The Plough and the Stars; The End of the Beginning; A Pound on Demand. I I (1952) The S i l v e r T assie; Within the Gates; The Star Turns Red. I I I (1951) Purple Dust; Red Roses For Me; H a l l of Healing. IV (1951) Oak Leaves and Lavender; Cock-A-Doodle Dandy; Bed-time Story; Time to Go. The Bishop's Bonfire (London, 1955). The Drums of Father"Ned (London, I960). Behind the Green Curtains (London, 1961). Page numbers of subsequent quotations w i l l be given i n the t e x t immediately a f t e r the quotation. -23-Michael, when he sees the women following the Cock to "a place where l i f e resembles l i f e more than i t does here1* (p. 216), recognizes that without love and joy, there i s no-thing l e f t for him but to die. Primarily the Cock represents the sexuality and f e r t i l -i t y of physical love and the v i t a l i t y and well-being that physical love promotes. Opposed to the free expression of love i s the perversion and lust caused by the Church's repres-sion of love. Robin was jai l e d for daring to kiss Marion i n a public place. Father Domineer i s constantly warning the women against the sin of low-cut too-short dresses and v i c -iously breaks up any dancing because i t may lead to a healthy interest i n sex. The result i s lust rather than love. A l l the men but Robin dwell on the s i n of lust because i t i s their only form of sexual enjoyment. nTh' circumnambulatory nature of a woman's form often has a detonatin' effect on a man's idle thoughts" (p. 146). The depiction of this lust i s highly amusing i n both language and action. Shanaar's l u r i d tales about the evils of sexual experience are fantastic. Mich-ael' s t e r r i b l e conflict between fear and desire i s constantly comic. Sailor Mahan•s ludicrous, animal-like wooing of Lore-leen i s hilarious. But never far beneath the comedy i s O'Casey's message. A genuine expression of physical love i s idealized not ridiculed. Because of the actions of Lorna, Marion, Loreleen, and Robin, disciples and messenger of the Cock, we realize, how-- 2 4 -ever, that the Cock represents not only sexuality and f e r t i l -i t y but also love i n i t s f u l l e s t meaning -which must include love of fellow man. Because love has not withered i n Lorna, Marion, and Loreleen, they are able to respond to the Cock with pleasure and affection, not fear and trembling. They are the only ones who fee l genuine concern for the dying J u l i a . Father Domineer only considers the publicity, prestige, and power a miraculous cure would bring to him. Michael can think of nothing but the f i f t y pounds he gave Julia's father for which he got the two hundred acres of bog that are making him a fortune. It i s Lorna, Marion, and Robin who try to protect Loreleen from the cruelty, inspired by Domineer, of the towns-people . It i s these three who accompany Loreleen into ex i l e . Their characters represent the generosity and kindness of the true s p i r i t of love. Fighting against the generosity and humanity of the true r e l i g i o n of love i s the hierarchy of exploitation used and encouraged by the Church. Father Domineer, the priest of the Church, controls the actions of a l l those too weak to fight against him, and he uses the power of fear, death, and dam-nation to strengthen the control of the Church over the body and soul of mankind. In a brutal uncontrollable rage, Father Domineer k i l l s the Lorry Driver who w i l l not submit to his demands. For this action he i s merely transferred to another parish and for the destruction of the individuality and souls of his parishioners, he i s not held responsible at a l l . Mich--25-ael and Sailor Mahan, next i n l i n e , try to enforce their w i l l s on their wives through harshness and cruelty. Michael c a l l s Lorna "a jade, n a "b i t c h , n a "costumed s l u t . " Theirs i s a s t e r i l e marriage based on a business arrangement only. It i s the same desire f o r material gain that causes both Michael and Sailor Mahan to exploit their workmen utterly and causes their endless but very comic disagreements. Again, as i n the handling of the theme of sexuality, O'Casey presents man's selfishness with witty satire and delightful farce, yet the undercurrent of ugliness i s always present. Domination leads inevitably to a timorous fear of l i f e . The men of Nyadnanave are afraid of women. The women must submit themselves to both their husbands and the Church. The whole d i s t r i c t i s t e r r i f i e d of the Cock. "Your fathers' f a i t h i s fear, an' now fear i s your only fun" (p. 161). The only music for Nyadnanavians i s the gloomy hymn sung for J u l -i a , and the martial music of f i f e and drum used i n the att-empt to rout the Cock. The only f e s t i v i t i e s for the v i l l a g -ers are the Church's solemn processions at Julia•s departure and return, and the pretentious ceremony for the President of Ei r e . Michael's very funny concern for his top hat shows that his interest i n f e s t i v i t y i s only for pompous self-glor-i f i c a t i o n . For the followers of the Cock, song, colour, gai-ety, and dance are a far more v i t a l part of l i f e than gloom, despair, and oppression. Robin i s seldom without his accor-dian to add a gay accompaniment to the dance of the women or -26 a sad commentary on the folly of the Nyadnanavians. The fi r s t mention of Lorna and Marion occurs when we hear them practicing dancing to a l i l t i n g waltz tune. It is the women who, with the magic of music and their feminine allure, are able to enchant Michael, Sailor Mahan, and the Sergeant into a few moments of gay dancing in which even money matters be-come unimportant. This moment of enlightment is destroyed a l l too soon by Father Domineer, who forces a l l but Loreleen and Robin into servility on their bended knees. Robin and a l l three women always wear brilliant reds, greens, and s i l -ver, which not only symbolize their vitality but also are an inherent part of their life-worship. By contrast, the v i l l -agers only cover their drab browns and blacks with colour during the procession with Julia, the attempt at routing the Cock, and in preparation for the arrival of the President, occasions that are a l l related to death and destruction. Even the brilliant sunflowers, which indicated the potential for life-worship in Nyadnanave, turn to black when the Cock i s banished. To follow the Cock into the celebration of l i f e takes great courage and individuality. It is necessary both to recognize the error of the Church and to fight against the complacency and conformity the Church demands. Loreleen has clods of dirt thrown at her, is beaten and reviled, has her money taken from her, but she does not submit to the deaden-ing power of the Church. It i s a l l too easy for the masses 2 7 -to accept the temptations of the Church. The Church offers ease of mind for there i s no need to make decisions nor to question authority. The rosy delusion of some heavenly fairyland blinds one to suffering, pain, and cruelty. No demands are made but ignorance and absolute subservience. Thus, i t i s only Lorna, Marion, and Robin who have the strength to go with Loreleen on the search to find n a place where l i f e resembles l i f e more than i t does here" (p. 216). In spite of the delightful comedy and the charming fantasy, Cock-A-Doodle Dandy presents a very bleak outlook. Only i n a fai r y tale where magic can protect one i s i t pos-sible for those who believe i n the joy of l i f e to gain even a p a r t i a l victory. In his next play, The Bishop's Bonfire. O'Casey shows what happens to life-worshippers who do not have the help of a Cock's magic. Although The Bishop's Bon-f i r e i s almost as unrealistic i n technique as Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, i t i s focused on the real world not the wonderland of fantasy. Thus, using the same themes of physical love, hu-manitarian love, celebration of l i f e , and individuality, O'Casey stresses the negative aspect of these themes. In the real world love i s frustrated, celebration i s destructive, and conformity i s required. Instead of presenting the joyous exuberance and release of physical love as i n Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. The Bishop's Bon-f i r e shows the fear and dissension caused by a repression of t h i s natural instinct. Keelin and Daniel love one another, -28-but Daniel has not enough strength to f i g h t both Canon Bur-ren and C o u n c i l l o r R e i l i g a n to claim K e e l i n . Instead, Dan-i e l accepts the prospect of the unhappiness o f l i f e without K e e l i n , and i n the end, c r u e l l y r e j e c t s Keelin's l o v e . The Canon and R e i l i g a n , meanwhile, are attempting to arrange a completely l o v e l e s s marriage but a wonderful business arrange-ment between f i f t y - y e a r o l d Farmer Mullarkey and K e e l i n , Foorawn and Manus, too, love one another, but Foorawn has taken a vow of c h a s t i t y . The f r u s t r a t i o n caused by t h i s f o o l i s h and forced r e p r e s s i o n of desire becomes more and more int e n s e . By the end of Act I, Manus has only b i t t e r -ness l e f t f o r Foorawn, not the necessary patience and under-standing. The angry tone of "the key's under your bodice on your breast w i t h i n where the cross i s l y i n g on your breast without. Cross and key t o keep you c o l d " (p. 43), i s t y p i -c a l o f Manus' response t o Foorawn. Foorawn i s "too deep i n the v a i n g l o r y of her c h a s t i t y " (p. 43) to understand her own f e e l i n g s or Manus 1. She can only respond c o l d l y , "Manus, you are a bad man A very bad man" (p. 4 3 ) . The a p p a l l i n g outcome of t h i s thwarted love i s i n e v i t a b l e . Their passion can only f i n d expression i n anger and de s t r u c t i o n , Manus [ f l i n g i n g her from him} . Oh, l e t me , t you mournful, empty s h e l l of womanhood I go Foorawn frunning to the telephone, and whipping —utTtKe Sec e i v e r 7 . I ' l l get the police.' TTl watch you hauled to j a i l ; I ' l l have you f i n -ished i n t h i s whole d i s t r i c t , i n t h i s whole l a n d l Manus. So that's your love and that's your — c h a r i t y , Foorawn's love and Foorawn's c h a r i t y , - 2 9 -y o u s o u n d i n g c y m b a l , y o u j u n k o f t i n k l i n g b r a s s ! ( W i l d l y , a d e e p menace i n h i s v o i c e , t a k i n g t h e g u n f r o m h i s p o c k e t ! . G e t away f r o m t h a t I D ' y e h e a r ? D r o p t h a t p h o n e , y o u b i t c h 1 Manus k i l l s F o o r a w n , a n d , a s a r e s u l t , i s h i m s e l f d e s t r o y e d s p i r i t u a l l y . R a n k i n , a s t e r i l e s e x l e s s f a n a t i c , r e p r e s e n t s t h e u l -t i m a t e c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e C h u r c h ' s r e p r e s s i o n . He c a n o n l y r e a c t t o K e e l i n ' s j o y and p h y s i c a l b e a u t y w i t h t h e s h o c k i n g a c t o f v i c i o u s l y s p i t t i n g i n h e r f a c e . F o r R a n k i n , a l l w o -men a r e t o b e h a t e d . n [with c l e n c h e d t e e t h l I h a t e t h e e v i l E v e s who s e n d men s i d l i n g i n t o s i n j " ( p . 2 6 ) . F o r h i m , t h e r e i s o n l y t h e o b s e s s i o n o f t h e k n e e b e n t c o n s t a n t l y i n p r a y e r and t h e b a r r e n e c s t a c y o f a b s o l u t e s u b m i s s i o n t o t h e a u t h o r i t y o f t h e C h u r c h . A t t h e o p p o s i t e p o l e t o R a n k i n i s t h e w i s e and g e n e r o u s C o d g e r , s u r e l y one o f O ' C a s e y ' s most m a r v e l o u s c r e a t i o n s . L i k e M a n u s , C o d g e r s e e s t h e s t e r i l i t y i n t h e l a n d . But C o d g e r i s n o t e m b i t t e r e d b y t h e v i s i o n . He c a n d a n c e and s i n g and l a u g h . He h a s t i m e t o show u n d e r s t a n d i n g and l o v e t o K e e l i n i n h e r s u f f e r i n g . He t r i e s w i t h l o v e a n d C o d g e r No h e a r t i n t h e s o i l , no h e a r t i n t h e g r a s s t h a t t o p s i t . Hay f r o m g r a s s t h a t n e v e r h a d a l i f e T h a t ' s what we h a v e now - a m i d g e t g l o r y : s l o w e r and s l o w e r t h e w h e e l s w i n g s , l o w e r a n d l o w e r t h e r e e l r i n g s ( p . 2 7 ) -30-g a i e t y t o g u i d e F o o r a w n away f r o m t h e f u t i l i t y o f e x c e s s i v e p i e t y i n t o t h e m e r r y d a n c e o f l i f e . C o d g e r i s , i n f a c t , t h e p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f a l l t h a t i s good i n t h e r e l i g i o n o f l i f e -w o r s h i p . Y e t , he i s n o t s o l e l y a p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f a n a b -s t r a c t i d e a l , b u t i s a f u l l - b o d i e d human b e i n g . F a t h e r B o -h e r o e and Canon B u r r e n , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , a r e l i t t l e more t h a n a b s t r a c t i o n s . F a t h e r B o h e r o e s i m p l y r e p r e s e n t s t h e f o r c e s o f g o o d a n d Canon B u r r e n , t h e f o r c e s o f e v i l . C o d -g e r , h o w e v e r , i s t h e v e r y human m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f a v i c t o r y o f t h e f o r c e s o f g o o d . F a t h e r B o h e r o e c o n s t a n t l y s t r i v e s t o l i f t u p t h e h e a r t s o f t h e p e o p l e t o a t r u e r e l i g i o u s w o r s h i p . He knows and s a y s t h a t , " t o o much f o r m a l p r a y e r s o m e t i m e s makes a s o u l c o n c e i t e d ; and m e r r i m e n t may be a way o f w o r s h i p ! t t ( p . 2 6 ) , and t h a t " a man i n a woman 's a rms may i n d e e d b e c l o s e t o G o d " ( p . 75 )• F a t h e r B o h e r o e r e a l i z e s , t o o , t h e r e a l v a l u e o f j o y o u s s p i r i t e d s i n g i n g . F a t h e r B o h e r o e . I w i s h I c o u l d p u t i n t o my p r a y e r s t h e s p i r i t he p u t s i n t o h i s s o n g s . I ' m a f r a i d M o n s i g n o r , God l i s t e n s more e a g e r l y t o t h e s o n g s o f t h e C o d g e r t h a n He d o e s t o o u r b e s t p r a y e r s . ( p . 106). A s t h e p r i e s t o f t h e t r u e r e l i g i o n , F a t h e r B o h e r o e d e s p e r -a t e l y a t t e m p t s t o l e a d h i s p e o p l e t o s a l v a t i o n . He s t r u g -g l e s t o make F o o r a w n r e c o g n i z e t h e v a l u e o f h e r s u p p r e s s e d l o v e f o r M a n u s . He a l m o s t s u c c e e d s i n i n s p i r i n g D a n i e l w i t h e n o u g h b r a v e r y t o f i g h t f o r h i s l o v e and h i s s o u l . F a t h e r B o h e r o e e v e n t r i e s t o show R a n k i n t h e e r r o r o f h i s f a n a t i c a l - 3 1 -w a y s . B u t t h e p o w e r s o f d a r k n e s s a r e t o o much f o r F a t h e r B o -h e r o e . He c a n n o t e v e n s a v e C o d g e r f r o m t h e w r a t h o f C a n o n B u r r e n . The v i c t o r y o f t h e p o w e r s o f d a r k n e s s i s f a r more d e -c i s i v e i n The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e t h a n i n C o c k - A - D o o d l e D a n d y . T h e r e i s no e s c a p e f r o m t h e r e a l w o r l d t o n a p l a c e w h e r e l i f e r e s e m b l e s l i f e more t h a n i t d o e s h e r e . " Canon B u r r e n s t r u g g l e s j u s t a s d e s p e r a t e l y a s F a t h e r B o h e r o e and w i t h g r e a t e r s u c c e s s t o m a i n t a i n h i s r e i g n o f p o w e r and e x p l o i t a -t i o n . He i s d e l i g h t e d t o h e l p t h e s t u p i d C o u n c i l l o r R e i l i -g a n become a Count o f t h e C h u r c h . R e i l i g a n i s a f i n e s o u r c e o f i n c o m e f o r t h e C h u r c h . I t i s t h e Canon who c o n v i n c e s R e i l i g a n t o d i s m i s s C o d g e r , whose p r e s e n c e i s a c o n s t a n t t h r e a t t o t h e C a n o n ' s a u t h o r i t y . The Canon d e s t r o y s D a n i e l ' s s p i r i t and a t t e m p t s t o p romote a l o v e l e s s m a r r i a g e b e t w e e n K e e l i n a n d F a r m e r M u l l a r k e y . A n d , o f c o u r s e , t h e Canon e n -c o u r a g e s t h e f a n a t i c i s m o f b o t h R a n k i n and F o o r a w n . J u s t a s t h e Canon owns t h e s o u l s o f t h e p e o p l e o f B a l l y o o n a g h , s o R e i l i g a n , t h e C a n o n ' s c h i e f t o o l , owns t h e i r b o d i e s . I n d e e d , R e i l i g a n c a n r e c o g n i z e some o f t h e w o r t h o f C o d g e r and M a n u s . They b o t h p r o v i d e R e i l i g a n w i t h s u b s t a n -t i a l m o n e t a r y g a i n . H i s d a u g h t e r K e e l i n i s n o t h i n g more t h a n a n o n - p a i d s e r v a n t i n t h e h o u s e h o l d . I n c h u r c h - o r i e n -t e d B a l l y o o n a g h , F o o r a w n ' s r e l i g i o s i t y a d d s p r e s t i g e and a n a u r a o f p i e t y t o R e i l i g a n ' s p o s i t i o n . J u s t a s t h e Canon u s e s R e i l i g a n , so R e i l i g a n u s e s t h o s e u n d e r h i m . L o v e and k i n d -32-n e s s h a v e l i t t l e c h a n c e o f s u r v i v a l i n t h e w o r l d o f B a l l y -o o n a g h . T h e r e a r e n o t many v i c t o r i e s f o r g o o d n e s s . P r i m a r -i l y , t h e w o r l d i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y f i g h t i n g and d i s s e n s i o n . I n B a l l y o o n a g h , t h e l o v e r s q u a r r e l r a t h e r t h a n k i s s . R a n -k i n and P r o d i c a l a r e c o n s t a n t l y c a r r y i n g on v e r y f u n n y and c o m p l e t e l y p o i n t l e s s d i s a g r e e m e n t s . R e i l i g a n i s f o r e v e r c l a s h i n g w i t h h i s w o r k m e n , h i s d a u g h t e r s , and e v e n Canon B u r -r e n . The two p r i e s t s , o f c o u r s e , a r e i n c o m p l e t e o p p o s i t i o n t o one a n o t h e r . I n A c t I I , t h e u t t e r l y i n s a n e a r g u m e n t a b o u t p a r a c h u t i n g j e e p s i n t o I r e l a n d a c t s a s a k i n d o f c o m i c s t a g e m e t a p h o r o f t h e d i s c o r d b r o u g h t a b o u t by t h e d e n i a l o f l o v e and l i f e . The c o n s t a n t f u t i l e c o n f l i c t r e a c h e s i t s c l i m a x i n t h e f i n a l h o r r i f y i n g M a n u s - F o o r a w n s c e n e p l a y e d o u t a g a i n s t t h e b a c k g r o u n d o f t h e f l a m e s o f t h e B i s h o p ' s b o n f i r e . R e v e l r y and c e l e b r a t i o n , i n B a l l y o o n a g h , c a n t a k e o n l y two f o r m s . T h e r e i s t h e c e l e b r a t i o n o f C o d g e r , D a n i e l , a n d P r o d i c a l o v e r t h e w o n d e r f u l d i s c o v e r y o f a g i n k e g . T h e i r r e s u l t i n g i n e b r i a t i o n i s d e l i g h t f u l r a t h e r t h a n h a r m f u l . I t may b e , a s F a t h e r B o h e r o e s a y s , t h a t t h e y a r e " t r y i n g t o g e t a g l i m p s e o f h e a v e n t h r o u g h t h e wrong w i n d o w " ( p . 24), b u t t h e i r a t t e m p t a t l e a s t i n s p i r e s them t o s o n g and g r e a t e r l o v e o f l i f e t h a n t h e Canon w o u l d c o n s e n t t o . W i t h t h e h e l p o f g i n , t h e t i m i d D a n i e l d e c i d e s t o go o u t i n t o t h e meadow a n d l i s t e n t o t h e l a r k s i n g i n g . The g i n makes P r o d i c a l f a r 33-more human and f a r more e l o q u e n t . P r o d l c a l ( t o t h e -wor ld and t o F a t h e r B o h e r o e l . P r o d i c a l C a r r a n a u n demands a w i d e r w o r l d , F a t h e r B o h e r o e ; a w o r l d where a man c a n r o a r h i s r e a l o p i n i o n s o u t ; w h e r e n i g h t becomes a g e n e r o u s p a r t o f a d a y , where r o u g h s e a s t u m b l e i n o n a l o n e l y s h o r e . P r o d i c a l C a r -r a n a u n i s f a r a b o v e t h e m e a n i n g o f Reiligan's r o s e s and R e i l i g a n ' s w a l l I ( p . 4 4 ) . A l l t h e C h u r c h c a n o f f e r f o r c e l e b r a t i o n i s t h e a r r i v a l o f a B i s h o p w h i c h b r i n g s a b o u t t h e p r e t e n t i o u s p r e p a r a t i o n s t o R e i l i g a n * s h o u s e and f i n a l l y a m a s s i v e b o n f i r e d e s t r o y i n g m o s t o f t h e b o o k s o f B a l l y o o n a g h . O ' C a s e y h a s Manus a n s -w e r i n g P r o d i c a l ' s q u e s t i o n , " W h e r e ' s t h a t b a s t a r d , Dan gone t o n o w ! " w i t h "gone i n t o t h e h o u s e and i n t o h e l l " ( p . 1 4 ) . A g a i n , O ' C a s e y u s e s t h e h o u s e t o s y m b o l i z e I r e l a n d a n d , b y e x t e n s i o n , t h e w o r l d . The h e l l i s h n e s s o f t h e b o n f i r e i s more t h a n a p p a r e n t . I n s p i t e o f t h e b l e a k p i c t u r e he p r e s e n t s i n The B i s h -o p ' s B o n f i r e . O ' C a s e y i n s i s t s t h a t man h a s t h e power t o o v e r -t h r o w t h e p o w e r s o f d a r k n e s s a n d t h a t , u n c o n s c i o u s l y , man a l w a y s s t r i v e s t o d e s t r o y t h e s e p o w e r s . 0 ' C a s e y u s e s t h e h i l a r i o u s f a r c e s c e n e s i n v o l v i n g t h e workmen t o d r a m a t i z e t h i s u n c o n s c i o u s d e s t r u c t i o n . The a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y o c c u r s d u r i n g t h e day i n w h i c h t h e B i s h o p i s t o a r r i v e . B u t t h e e l a b o r a t e p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e B i s h o p ' s a r r i v a l a r e nowhere n e a r c o m p l e t i o n . D a n i e l , P r o d i c a l , and R a n k i n a r e t o c o m -p l e t e a b r i c k w a l l a r o u n d R e i l i g a n ' s h o u s e a n d w o r k on t h e c h u r c h t o w e r b e f o r e B i s h o p M u l l a r k e y comes t o t o w n . P r o --34-gress i s a t r i f l e slow. P r o d i c a l and Rankin have a f i n e f a r -c i c a l f i g h t over whose b r i c k each i s using. Daniel and Cod-ger add to the delay by e n t i c i n g P r o d i c a l to break h i s vow of abstinence and come to the g i n keg. I t i s the g i n that brings about the comic high point of Act I . Under the i n f l u -ence of g i n , Codger s l i g h t l y miscalculates h i s own strength. Staggering under the weight of an enormous bag of cement, Codger and cement burst into the Bishop's drawing-room. The new carpet and the new f u r n i t u r e w i l l not be i n quite per-f e c t condition f o r the Bishop. Even when the cement has been cleaned up and the room i s almost ready, i t i s s t i l l not safe from the unwitting destruction of the men. Both Daniel and Rankin k i c k and chip the door and put great gashes i n the magnificent new table as they bring i n the huge pot-ted palms - the f i n i s h i n g touches to the room. Canon Burren's c o n t r o l over the people i s not complete. The men are inca-pable of conforming to the degree demanded by the Church. I t i s when man can consciously accept Father Boheroe *s words, "when we have problems Foorawn, ourselves are the sai n t s to solve them. Our weakness - and our strength" (p. 114), that a v i c t o r y f o r the powers of goodness i s as-sured . With the acceptance must come the f i g h t . Father Boheroe....Get to yourselves the cour-age to l a s t i t out. You've escaped from the dominion of the b i g house with the l i o n and the unicorn on i t s f r o n t ; don't l e t yourselves sink beneath the meaner dominion of the b i g shop with the cross and the sham-rock on i t s gable. Whatever comes, refuse •35-t o be f r i g h t e n e d , and t a k e w h a t e v e r t h e g l o w may b r i n g , be i t t h e m o u r n i n g h a b i t o r t h e g o l d e n gownI I n The Drums o f F a t h e r N e d . O ' C a s e y shows t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s b r a v e f i g h t . The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned d r a m a t i z e s t h e same o p p o s i -t i o n s a s C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy and The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e , b u t i n t h e combat i n The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned t h e f o r c e s o f g o o d w i n t h e v i c t o r y . A g a i n , t h e r e a r e t h e c o n f l i c t s b e t w e e n y o u t h and a g e , b e t w e e n s e x u a l e x p r e s s i o n and r e p r e s s i o n , b e t w e e n t h e l o v e o f l i f e a n d t h e l o v e o f money , b e t w e e n c e l e b r a t i o n a n d g l o o m , b e t w e e n f r e e d o m and c o n s t r a i n t . A g a i n , t o o , t h e s e o p p o s i t i o n s a r e c e n t r e d o n t h e two c o n f l i c t i n g p r i e s t s , t h e a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s o f good and e v i l . F r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I , we a r e aware t h e F a t h e r Ned i s t h e m a j o r i n s p i r a t i o n f o r t h e T o s t a l , a n d t h a t n o -t h i n g w i l l s t a n d i n t h e way o f t h e T o s t a l c e l e b r a t i o n s . The o r t h o d o x c l e r g y , t h e p o l i t i c i a n s , and t h e b u s i n e s s m e n a r e h e l p l e s s b e f o r e t h e s p i r i t o f y o u t h and j o y g e n e r a t e d b y t h e T o s t a l . B e c a u s e t h e P r e r u m b l e has e s t a b l i s h e d B i n n i n g t o n and M c G i l l i g a n a s O ' C a s e y ' s t y p i c a l ttoul' l i f e - f r i g h t e n e r s " , whose o n l y i n t e r e s t s a r e b u s i n e s s and a b s u r d p o l i t i c a l b e -l i e f s , we know i m m e d i a t e l y t h a t anyone and a n y t h i n g o p p o s e d t o M c G i l l i g a n and B i n n i n g t o n w i l l be o n t h e s i d e o f g o o d n e s s . T h u s , f r o m t h e f i r s t s c e n e o f A c t I , t h e b a t t l e l i n e s b e -t w e e n F a t h e r Ned and F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e a r e c l e a r l y m a r k e d . And b e c a u s e we know t h a t F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e w i l l be d e f e a t e d , -36-h e c a n become a m a r v e l o u s l y c o m i c f i g u r e . I t i s s u r p r i s i n g t h a t O ' C a s e y f e l t t h a t t h e I r i s h c l e r g y w o u l d be a b l e t o a c -c e p t The Drums o f F a t h e r N e d . 2 ^ The C h u r c h p r i e s t s o f C o c k -A - D o o d l e Dandy and The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e h a v e a t l e a s t t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f b e i n g f r i g h t e n i n g f i g u r e s , b u t Father F i l l i -f o g u e i s s t r i p p e d o f a l l s t a t u r e . He i s o n l y a v e r y f o o l i s h man who b e c o m e s p r o g r e s s i v e l y more c o m i c . He e n g a g e s i n a w o n d e r f u l l y f a r c i c a l u m b r e l l a t u g - o f - w a r w i t h M r . M u r r a y o v e r t h e q u e s t i o n o f c l a s s i c a l m u s i c c o m i n g i n t o t h e p a r i s h c h u r c h . B y A c t I I , F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e , c o m p l e t e l y b e w i l d -e r e d by F a t h e r N e d ' s m y s t e r y , b e g i n s a n u n c o n s c i o u s b u t v e r y f u n n y i m i t a t i o n o f S k e r i g h a n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f F a t h e r Ned i n a h e a v y U l s t e r a c c e n t . P o o r F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e i s a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y d e f e a t e d . He s t a g g e r s o n s t a g e h i d i n g u n d e r h i s o p e n b l a c k u m b r e l l a . S t i l l more s h a t t e r i n g k n o w l e d g e i s i n s t o r e f o r F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e . He l e a r n s t h a t t h e P r e s b y t e r y d o o r has b e e n p a i n t e d a f l a m i n g r e d - " a t h e i s t i c a l C o m m u n i s t " c o l o u r . E v e n w o r s e , h o w e v e r , t h e y o u n g p e o p l e w i l l n o t a l -l o w t h e Communist t i m b e r t o b e b u r n e d . The f i n a l b l o w comes when h e l e a r n s t h a t M i c h a e l a n d N o r a h a v e b e e n s l e e p i n g t o -g e t h e r . A l l he c a n do i s c r y i n d e s p a i r , " Y o u s e s e e , y o u s e h e a r ? T h i s i s a l l a l o n g o f t h ' C o l l e g e l e t t i n ' t h ' s t u d e n t s w e a r j e a n s The j e a n s , j e a n s , j e a n s ' . " ( p . 9 9 ) . C e r t a i n l y , O ' C a s e y t r e a t s F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e f a r more k i n d l y t h a n any o f 29 D a v i d K r a u s e g i v e s a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n o f O ' C a s e y ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h t h e D u b l i n T o s t a l C o u n c i l c o n c e r n i n g t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f The Drums o f F a t h e r N e d , p p . 212-217. 37-h i s o t h e r C h u r c h p r i e s t s . We may e v e n f e e l a l i t t l e p i t y f o r h i m , b u t we c a n n o t t a k e h i m s e r i o u s l y . F a t h e r N e d , b y c o n t r a s t , i s s o c o m p l e t e l y a l l e g o r i c a l t h a t we a r e n e v e r a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n t h a t he d o e s e x i s t . We n e v e r s e e F a t h e r N e d , o n l y t h e r e s u l t o f h i s p r e s e n c e i n t h e e x u b e r a n t a c t i v i t y o f t h e y o u t h . T h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y , F a t h e r Ned i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e g l o r i e s o f I r e l a n d ' s m y t h i c p a s t . B e r n a d e t t e ' s d r e a m - l i k e d e s c r i p t i o n t o S k e r i g h a n r e l a t e s F a t h e r Ned t o t h e m y t h i c f i g u r e s o f C o l u m c i l l e a n d D e e u s k . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t I I I p o s t e r s and s h i e l d s b e a r i n g t h e f a c e s o f t h e o l d I r i s h gods and h e r o e s a r e o n d i s p l a y . The Man o f t h e P i k e ' s c a t a l o g u e o f t h e s e f i g u r e s a g a i n d i r e c t l y r e l a t e s them t o F a t h e r N e d . A n d , a s R o b e r t Hogan p o i n t s 3 0 o u t , S k e r i g h a n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n g i v e s F a t h e r Ned t h e m y s t e r y and g r a n d e u r o f a p r i m i t i v e g o d . S k e r i g h a n . . . . a b o d y t h a t wasna t h e r e , b u t f i e r c e g r e e n e y e s s h l n i n ' l a k u m e r a l d s o n f i r e i n a w h i t e f a c e t h o t was c a r e e i n ' a b o o t t h o u g h s t a y i n ' s t u l l a s a e v e n i n ' s t a r , s t a r i n ' u p t a e me f r u m d o o n i n t h e v a l l e y b e l o w a w i l d f l o p o f r u d d y h a i r , f l a m i n ' l a k a b u r n i n ' b u s h ; one l o n g w h i t e hond p o i n t i n ' u p , t h ' i t h e r one p o i n t i n ' d o o n , f o r b y e t h ' sound o f a c l e a r v o i c e s a y i n ' n a e t h i n ' o n ' m e a n i n ' a l l , a l l s u r -r o u n d e d by a m i c h t y c l e r i c a l c o l l a r r o u n d a n e c k I c o u l d n a s e e . ( p . 6 4 ) . The a s s o c i a t i o n o f F a t h e r Ned w i t h I r e l a n d ' s p a s t d o e s n o t s u g g e s t a d e s i r e f o r a r e t u r n t o t h e p a s t . O ' C a s e y was 30 Hogan, p. 139 - 3 8 -n e v e r one t o w o r s h i p t h e p a s t b l i n d l y . The u s e o f a p r i e s t f i g u r e d o e s r e i n f o r c e t h e r e l i g i o u s n a t u r e o f t h e p l a y . More i m p o r t a n t l y , i t h o l d s a p r o m i s e f o r t h e f u t u r e . Once t h e f a l s e way o f l i f e h a s b e e n d e f e a t e d , t h e s p i r i t o f g r e a t n e s s t h a t t h e m y t h i c g o d s and h e r o e s r e p r e s e n t can b e -come a p a r t o f m a n ' s l i f e . The f i g u r e s t h a t a r e named i n t h e p l a y r e p r e s e n t a l l t h a t f o r m s a p a r t o f O ' C a s e y ' s r e l -i g i o u s a t t i t u d e - h o l i n e s s , j u s t i c e , l o v e , p o e t r y , m u s i c , and y o u t h . F a t h e r Ned i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e w h i s p e r s i n t h e n i g h t . F o r M i c h a e l and N o r a , Tom and B e r n a d e t t e , t h e w h i s -p e r s s p e a k o f l o v e i n one a n o t h e r ' s a r m s . The y o u n g no l o n g -e r n e e d t o be a f r a i d o f t h e j o y s o f p h y s i c a l l o v e . M i c h a e l a n d N o r a h a v e b e e n s l e e p i n g t o g e t h e r and d a r e t o a d m i t i t t o t h e w h o l e w o r l d . E v e n t h o u g h t h e w h i s p e r s c a r r y t h e c e r t a i n -t y o f a g e and d e a t h w i t h i n t h e m , t h e s e w h i s p e r s o f age w i l l n o t be f r i g h t e n i n g w h e n , B e r n a d e t t e a l l o u r d e e d s a n ' j o y s ' 1 1 be a s many a s t h e l e a v e s on a n a s h o r t h ' b l o s -soms o n a t h r e e o f h a w t h o r n . T h e n we c a n f a d e i n q u i e t n e s s , and f a l l w i t h t h e c a r e -l e s s n e s s o f s a t i s f a c t i o n . ( p . 5 1 ) . F o r t h e o l d , h o w e v e r , whose p o l i c i e s p r e a c h h a t r e d , t h e w h i s p e r s o f t h e n i g h t a r e f r i g h t e n i n g and d a n g e r o u s s o u n d s . I n s t e a d o f t h e n i g h t " w h i s p e r i n ' o f t h ' g a y l o o k c o m i n ' o v e r D o o n a v a l e " ( p . 6 2 ) , " t h ' n i g h t ' 1 1 be w h i s p e r i n ' o f m a d n e s s , m a d n e s s " ( p . 6 3 ) t o F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e , B i n n i n g t o n , and M c G i l l i g a n . -39-I n C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy and The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e . O ' C a s e y c o u l d o n l y s u g g e s t i n a n e g a t i v e way t h e r e w a r d and p r o m i s e o f t h e r e l i g i o n o f l i f e - w o r s h i p . The r e w a r d o f l i f e - w o r s h i p was c o m p l e t e l y o p p o s i t e t o t h e p r o m i s e g i v e n b y t h e C h u r c h . B e c a u s e i n The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned v i c t o r y f o r t h e f o r c e s o f l o v e and l i f e i s a s s u r e d f r o m t h e b e g i n -n i n g , t h e e n t i r e p l a y becomes a d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e e f -f e c t s o f s u c h a v i c t o r y . The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned i s O ' C a s -e y ' s l e a s t p l o t t e d p l a y . C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy h a s w h a t c o u l d b e c a l l e d one s t r o n g p l o t l i n e - t h e c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n t h e C o c k a n d F a t h e r D o m i n e e r . The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e s e e m s , o n t h e s u r f a c e , t o be q u i t e i n t r i c a t e l y p l o t t e d , b r i n g i n g t o -g e t h e r t h e t h r e e s t o r i e s o f t h e t w o p a i r s o f l o v e r s a n d t h e d e f e a t o f F a t h e r B o h e r o e and C o d g e r w i t h i n t h e c e n t r a l l i n e o f t h e p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e B i s h o p ' s v i s i t . The Drums o f F a t h e r N e d , h o w e v e r , i s t h e d e p i c t i o n o f what O ' C a s e y b e -l i e v e s t o b e t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e human c o n d i t i o n s . T h e r e i s v i r t u a l l y no c o n f l i c t and no d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e p l o t s e n s e . R a t h e r , t h e r e i s a n i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f t h e s p i r -i t o f y o u t h and c e l e b r a t i o n . We compare t h e a c t i v i t i e s and t h o u g h t s o f c h a r a c t e r s who a r e immersed i n t h e s p i r i t o f l o v e and F a t h e r Ned w i t h t h o s e who a r e n o t . L i f e w i t h o u t l o v e and u n d e r s t a n d i n g b r i n g s s p i r i t u a l d e a t h i f n o t p h y s i c a l d e a t h . The s h a r p l y s a t i r i c P r e r u m b l e e m p h a s i z e s t h e harm M c G i l l i g a n and B i n n i n g t o n ' s p e t t y f e u d c a n c a u s e . The O f f i c e r o f t h e B l a c k and Tans w a n t s them -40-kept alive because "these two rats will do more harm to Ire-land living than they'll do to Ireland dead" (p. 10). They are, after a l l , concerned with their personal business in-terests alone. As long as they are alive one could expect the people to suffer. Love, however, has f i l l e d the youth. Life has a great-er purpose than gaining financial success and the Church's blessing. The youth of Doonavale are working together to bring beauty and joy to the town through the Tostal celebra-tions. The elders of the town cannot stand in youth's way. When i t i s necessary to find rehearsal space for the Tostal pageant, the young people take over Binnington's parlour quite unceremoniously pushing Binnington and McGilligan out the door. In the same way, Binnington's drawing-room has been turned into a workshop for the manufacture of gay win-dow boxes to decorate the town. The town is bustling with the activity of the young people who labour industriously for the sole purpose of bringing pleasure to the town and to themselves. Binnington and McGilligan suddenly have no place to discuss business, and they also have no men to work for them. The Church suffers as much as the businessmen from the Tostal-generated exuberance. The young people readily sing the Tostal song with gusto, but the doleful Church hymn is too much for them. They never master i t . Their enthusiasm for splashing colour over the town causes them not only to - 4 1 -h o i s t t h e T o s t a l f l a g o v e r t h e P r e s b y t e r y d o o r , b u t a l s o t o p a i n t t h e p r e s b y t e r y d o o r a b r i l l i a n t r e d , much t o F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e ' s h o r r o r . T h e i r a s s a u l t o n t h e C h u r c h , h o w e v e r , s t r i k e s d e e p e r t h a n gay s o n g s a n d b r i g h t p a i n t . C h r i s t b e -comes i m p o r t a n t t o t h e y o u t h n o t m e r e l y a s a s y m b o l f o r t h e C h u r c h , b u t b e c a u s e He must have s e e n and l o v e d t h e b e a u t y o f t h e l i l i e s o f t h e f i e l d and t h e r o s e o f S h a r o n . N o r a . I f He d i d n ' t d a n c e H i m s e l f , He must n a v e w a t c h e d t h e p e o p l e a t i t , a n d , maybe , c l a p p e d H i s h a n d s when t h e y d i d i t w e l l . He must h a v e o f t e n l i s t e n e d t o t h e p e o p l e s i n g i n ' and b e e n c a u g h t u p w i t h t h e r h y t h m o f t h e g e n t l e h a r p and p s a l t e r y , and H i s f e e t may have t a p p e d t h e g r o u n d a l o n g w i t h t h e g a y e r s t r o k e s o f t h e t a b o r and t h e sound o f t h e c y m b a l s t i n k l i n g . (p. 3 3 ) . The y o u n g c a n c e r t a i n l y r e c o g n i z e much o f t h e f o o l i s h -n e s s o f p s e u d o r e l i g i o u s a r g u m e n t . A f t e r t h e s t a u n c h P r o -t e s t a n t S k e r i g h a n ' s f a n t a s t i c a l l y r i d i c u l o u s a rgument w i t h e q u a l l y d e d i c a t e d C a t h o l i c s , B i n n i n g t o n and M c G i l l i g a n , N o r a and M i c h a e l ' s comments seem r e f r e s h i n g l y s e n s i b l e . T h e y know t h a t God i s n e i t h e r " i p s o a P r o t e s t a n t o r a Roman C a t h o l i c " ( p . 92). F o r M i c h a e l , I f God be what He o u g h t t o b e , must b e , i f He be G o d , t h e n He h a s no t i m e t o b o t h e r a b o u t t h e A n g l i c a n T h i r t y - n i n e A r t i c l e s , t h e W e s t m i n s t e r C o n f e s s i o n , o r t h e C r e e d f r o m t h e C o u n c i l o f T h r e n t . ( p . 9 1 ) . I n f a c t , God may be "more t h a n He i s e v e n c l a i m e d t o b e ; He may be b u t a s h o u t i n t h ' s t r e e t " ( p . 92). The C h u r c h , a s i t i s d e p i c t e d i n t h e p l a y , c a n n o t s u r v i v e s u c h u n o r t h o d o x -42-t h i n k i n g . The d e f e a t o f t h e C h u r c h - b u s i n e s s u n i o n i s d r a -m a t i c a l l y p r e s e n t e d i n t h e A c t I I I s c e n e i n w h i c h t h e w h o l e t o w n demands a s t a t e m e n t f r o m B i n n i n g t o n , M c G i l l i g a n , a n d F a t h e r F i l l i f o g u e a b o u t t h e Communist t i m b e r . When none o f t h e s e men can g i v e a s a t i s f a c t o r y a n s w e r , t h e town t u r n s t o M i c h a e l a n d N o r a , who now r e v e a l t h a t t h e y a r e g o i n g t o r u n i n t h e e l e c t i o n s t o t h e B a i l a g a i n s t t h e i r p a r e n t s . The C h u r c h - S t a t e - B u s i n e s s t r i u m v i r a t e i s u t t e r l y d e f e a t e d , T h e m a t i c a l l y , O ' C a s e y ' s v i s i o n i n The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned h a s e x p a n d e d c o n s i d e r a b l y f r o m t h a t i n C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy and The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e . The t h r e e p l a y s s h o u l d , h o w -e v e r , be r e g a r d e d a s a s i n g l e u n i t . T o g e t h e r , t h e y f o r m a t r i l o g y o f O ' C a s e y ' s v i s i o n o f man - a n a l l e g o r i c a l d e s c r i p -t i o n o f m a n ' s f a l l away f r o m g o o d n e s s , t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s f a l l , a n d f i n a l l y , m a n ' s r e d e m p t i o n . I t i s a v i s i o n t h a t e n -c o m p a s s e s t h e c r u e l t y and v i c i o u s n e s s o f man a n d a l s o t h e l o v e o f w h i c h man i s c a p a b l e . I n O ' C a s e y ' s v i s i o n , man i s c e r t a i n l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s s i n s b u t man i s a l s o a b l e t o s a v e h i m s e l f . The t r i l o g y o f C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy . The B i s h -o p ' s B o n f i r e , and The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned d r a m a t i z e O ' C a s e y ' s f u l l p o i n t o f v i e w a b o u t t h e human c o n d i t i o n . J u s t a s C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy . The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e , and The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned must be t h o u g h t o f a s a t h e m a t i c u n i t , s o t o o , must B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s and F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t be c o n s i d e r e d a u n i t . A l t h o u g h t h e l a s t two p l a y s c o n t a i n t h e b a s i c i d e a o f t h e c e l e b r a t i o n o f l i f e , l o v e , and -43-freedom, these plays are concerned primarily with the ques-tion of sexual repression and sexual freedom. Using the same basic form of the morality play as the three earlier plays, Behind the Green Curtains dramatizes the struggle for the souls of Reena and Chatastray by the forces of good and e v i l . Goodness is represented by Beoman, the factory foreman, and evil by Kornavaun, the Church's Tstrong man'. Beoman wins Reena over to the cause of l i f e , but Chatastray is lost. Kornavaun's terrorizing so intimi-dates Chatastray that he is unable to summon the courage to fight for what he would like to believe in. He is doomed to a living death. Again, in this play, O'Casey strives to demonstrate that the terrible sin of submission i s man's. The tyranny of the Church-State-Business union flourishes because man will not fight against the evil even when he can recognize i t . In Behind the Green Curtains. O'Casey slashes out at the artists and intellectuals. They have the ability and the power to lead the people to the truth. Yet, for the most part, they ignore their duty and accept the easier role of resignation. Their bravery is only strong enough for petty squabbles amongst themselves or for bold words shouted out behind the privacy and protection of the heavy green curtains. The contrast between a healthy attitude towards phys-ical love and the ugly lust that restrictiveness causes is - 4 4 -c e r t a i n l y a part of the three e a r l i e r plays. In Behind the Green Curtains, t h i s contrast becomes the major means of i l l u s t r a t i n g the struggle f o r man's soul. I t i s also the p r i n c i p a l motivation f o r a l l the characters' actions. Scene I of the play i s s o l e l y an exposition of the c o n f l i c t between the power of the Church and the i n d i v i d u a l who knows that h i s moral duty i s to break away from t h i s power. Seenes I I and I I I i l l u s t r a t e the Church's control by showing the e f f e e t of t h i s c o n t r o l on sexual a t t i t u d e s . The a r t i s t s i n t h e i r ignorance think that Chatastray's c o l l e c t i o n of re-productions of great paintings are ' d i r t y ' p i c t u r e s , and i n t h e i r l u s t , search f r a n t i c a l l y f o r more to ogle. Noneen, who i s a charming and p e r f e c t l y innocent young g i r l , i s ab-ducted, stripped, beaten, and t i e d overnight to a lamppost i n a s i n g u l a r l y perverted form of punishment by the pious l a d i e s of the Church. This b r u t a l i t y i s r a t i o n a l i z e d by th© assumption that no young g i r l could be sexually safe working f o r an unmarried man - yet another r e f l e c t i o n of a perverted sexual a t t i t u d e . The most obvious example of t h i s perversion of physical love into ugliness i s shown i n the character Kornavaun. Kornavaun's one form of excitement i s imagining, i n l u r i d d e t a i l , the sexual a c t i v i t i e s of Noneen and Chatas-t r a y . When Noneen r e j e c t s h i s nasty attentions, Kornavaun v i l i f i e s her and vows revenge. Kornavaun overcomes h i s f r u s t r a t i o n s with cruelty and viciousness. Kornavaun and h i s methods have so t e r r i f i e d Chatastray that not even the -45-p r o m i s e o f a h e a l t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p b a s e d on l o v e i s a b l e t o o v e r c o m e h i s t e r r o r . C h a t a s t r a y , i n h i s f e a r , f o r s a k e s Reena and l o v e f o r t h e h a i r s h i r t and d o m i n a t i o n o f t h e C h u r c h . N o n e e n , R e e n a , a n d Boeman must f l e e i f t h e y a r e t o l i v e . W i l l i a m A r m s t r o n g p o i n t s o u t t h e m a t i c l i n k s b e t w e e n C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy and B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s , and b e t w e e n The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned a n d F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t ? 1 I n t h e f i r s t t w o p l a y s t h e s p i r i t o f y o u t h a n d l i f e i s e x i l e d b y d e a t h - c a u s i n g c o r r u p t i o n . Y o u t h and l i f e a r e c o m p l e t e l y v i c -t o r i o u s i n b o t h The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned and F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t . F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t i s a l s o , o f c o u r s e , r e l a t e d d i r -e c t l y t o B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s b e c a u s e e a c h p l a y p r e -s e n t s t h e s t r u g g l e b e t w e e n t h e f o r c e s o f l i f e a n d d e a t h i n t e r m s o f s e x u a l l i b e r t y o r r e p r e s s i o n . F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t i s 0 ' C a s e y ' s most s t y l i z e d p l a y . I t c o u l d a l m o s t be c a l l e d a d r a m a t i z e d b a l l e t w i t h d i a l o g u e . I n two s c e n e s , t h e p l a y p r e s e n t s a c o m p l e t e p i c t u r e o f O ' C a s -e y ' s v i s i o n o f t h e s t r u g g l e b e t w e e n t h e f o r c e s o f good and e v i l and O ' C a s e y ' s f a i t h i n t h e u l t i m a t e v i c t o r y o f t h e f o r -c e s o f g o o d . S c e n e I o p e n s o n a y o u n g g i r l s u r r o u n d e d by a b l e a k d e a t h - l i k e s t r e e t . She i s w a i t i n g a n x i o u s l y f o r h e r l o v e r 31 W i l l i a m A r t h u r A r m s t r o n g , "The I r i s h P o i n t o f V i e w , " E x p e r i m e n t a l D rama , e d . Wm. A . A r m s t r o n g ( L o n d o n , 1 9 6 3 ) , p . ^ - 9 1 . -46-t o r e t u r n . To p r e s e n t what m i g h t h a p p e n t o t h e g i r l i f h e r l o v e r d o e s n o t r e t u r n , we a r e shown t h e O l d Woman a n d t h e O l d M a n . The s t e r i l i t y o f t h e i r l i v e s i s more t h a n a p p a r e n t . To h i d e t h e i r k n o w l e d g e t h a t l i f e h a s b e e n empty f o r t h e m , t h e y f o o l i s h l y p r a i s e t h e i r p a r e n t s and t h e C h u r c h f o r s e p -a r a t i n g them f r o m l o v e . A l l t h a t t h e y h a v e l e f t a r e t h e i r f o o l i s h f a n t a s i e s a n d c o m i c a r g u m e n t s . S u d d e n l y , h o w e v e r , a s t r a n g e s p i r i t t a k e s p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e O l d Woman. She knows t h e f o l l y o f t h e i r w a y s . " L i f e w i t h a l o v e r and h i s l a s s s i t s s i n g i n g o n t h e t o m b , and mocks t h e s t o n e " ( p . 110). She now u n d e r s t a n d s t h a t , The f r u i t f r o m t h e t r e e o f k n o w l e d g e o f good and e v i l s e t u s f r e e f r o m c o d d l i n g , a n d g a v e u s t h e p a i n and t h e power t o do o u r own t h i n k -i n g , w a l k o n o u r own f e e t ; c l a p o u r own h a n d s a t w h a t o u r s e l v e s had d o n e . ( p . 100). T h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g d o e s n o t l a s t f o r l o n g , and b o t h o l d p e o -p l e r e v e r t t o t h e i r o r i g i n a l f o o l i s h n e s s . The s e t t i n g f o r S c e n e I I i s t h e same a s Scene I , b u t now i t i s f l o o d e d w i t h l i g h t and c o l o u r and s o u n d s y m b o l i z i n g t h e v i c t o r y o f l i f e a n d l o v e t h a t i s d e s c r i b e d i n t h e s c e n e . A g a i n , we s e e t h e O l d P e o p l e , b u t t h i s t i m e t h e y a r e n o t c o m p l a c e n t i n t h e i r i g n o r a n c e ; t h e y a r e f r i g h t e n e d . Some-t h i n g s t r a n g e i s h a p p e n i n g i n t h e c i t y . The y o u t h i n t h e c i t y a r e r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t a l l t h e r u l e s w h i c h once h e l d them so r i g i d l y i n c o n t r o l . The s y m b o l o f t h e i r r e l e a s e i s a n e r o t i c s t a t u e i n a f o u n t a i n t h a t h a s s u d d e n l y m y s t e r -i o u s l y a p p e a r e d i n t h e c i t y . A " F i g u r o o f a P e t e r P a n c a s --47-c a d i n g c o n s e q u e n t i a l shame and d i s g r a c e o n a l l b e h o l d e r s " ( p . 1 0 8 ) a c c o r d i n g t o t h e O l d P e o p l e , b u t t o t h e y o u n g he h a s b r o u g h t s a l v a t i o n . T h e y c r y o u t , " B e h o l d , t h e m who w e r e l o s t h a v e b e e n f o u n d , a n d t h e m who w e r e dead h a v e come t o l i f e a g a i n ! " ( p . 1 0 8 ) . E a c h o f t h e O l d P e o p l e h a s h i s own s u g g e s t i v e a c c o u n t t o g i v e o f t h e abandoned r e v e l r y i n t h e c i t y . The O l d P e o p l e may h a v e r e p r e s s e d t h e i r d e s i r e , b u t i t s t i l l i s v e r y p r e s e n t i n t h e m . T h e r e i s one y o u n g man o n s t a g e d u r i n g S c e n e I I . H i s comments p r e s e n t t h e sane p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e y o u n g . A l -t h o u g h t h e O l d P e o p l e t r y d e s p e r a t e l y t o b r i n g t h e Young Man b a c k t o t h e r e s t r i c t i v e n e s s o f t h e o l d d a y s , t h e Young Man w i l l no l o n g e r succumb t o t h e i r u n p l e a s a n t t a l e s o f s i n . "To h e l l w i t h t h e l o t ©' y o u s - I ' m f o r t h e t h r u s t and t h r o e o f F i g u r o ! " ( p . 1 1 9 ) . The O l d P e o p l e a r e d e f e a t e d . The Y o u n g Man g o e s i n t o t h e Young G i r l , a n d t h e p l a y e n d s o n a g a y c o l o u r f u l d a n c e o f y o u n g c o u p l e s , i n d e e d , a r i t u a l c e l e b r a -t i o n o f m a r r i a g e s u g g e s t i n g g e r m i n a t i o n and r e b i r t h . F i g u r o i n t h e N i g h t shows most o b v i o u s l y 0 ' C a s e y ' s u s e o f b o t h t h e c o n t e n t and f o r m o f t h e d r a m a t i z e d m y t h . A s R o b e r t Hogan p o i n t s o u t , b o t h C o c k - A - D o o d l e Dandy and The Drums o f F a t h e r Ned a r e a l s o i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e m y t h ? 2 The r e c o g n i t i o n o f O ' C a s e y ' s d e l i b e r a t e u s e o f t h e m y t h a d d s w e i g h t t o t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t 32 H o g a n , p . 1 3 9 . - 4 8 -p l a y s as r e l i g i o u s p l a y s . S i n c e t h e work o f such p e o p l e as S i r James F r a z e r and G i l b e r t Murray, t h e r e i s no q u e s t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n between e a r l y drama and r e l i g i o n , O'Casey em-p h a s i z e s t h e r e l i g i o u s atmosphere o f h i s p l a y s by e x p l o i t i n g t h i s p r i m i t i v e r e l a t i o n between drama and r e l i g i o n , . J u s t as he u s e s t h e myth t o suggest th e r e l i g i o u s n a t u r e o f t h e p l a y s , O'Casey u s e s th e C h r i s t i a n Church and i t s m i n i s t e r s t o r e -p r e s e n t f o r m s o f t y r a n n y and d o m i n a t i o n . Thus, i t i s not n e c e s s a r y t o make an a p o l o g y f o r O'Casey t o t h e Church as Mr. Cowasjee does t h r o u g h o u t h i s book. O'Casey does n o t p l a c e a l l t h e e v i l s he s e e s i n t h e w o r l d on t h e Church. I n f a c t , he f e e l s the t r u e r e l i g i o n o f l i f e - w o r s h i p can and must be a p a r t o f t h e C h r i s t i a n Church. As w e l l as t h e domineer-i n g b i g o t e d p r i e s t s , O'Casey has, a f t e r a l l , c r e a t e d F a t h e r Boheroe and F a t h e r Ned. By u s i n g the f i g u r e s o f t h e p r i e s t , O'Casey i s a b l e t o d e v e l o p a d r a m a t i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e o p p o s i -t i o n i n h i s modern m o r a l i t y p l a y s . Two ways o f l i f e and two ways o f r e l i g i o n a r e d e p i c t e d , and t h e s p e c t a t o r must choose. -49-L E V E L S OF STRUCTURE We h a v e c a l l e d 0'C a s e y ' s f i v e l a s t p l a y s m o d e r n m o r a l -i t y p l a y s w h i c h w o u l d b e , p e r h a p s , a n a f f r o n t t o O ' C a s e y who i n t e n s e l y d i s l i k e d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l m o r a l i t y p l a y s o f t h e M i d d l e A g e s . " M o s t o f t h e m a r e c l u m s y a n d t e r r i b l y d u l l -i n c l u d i n g t h e w o r s h i p p e d p r e c i o u s n e s s o f E v e r y m a n .^3 R e -g a r d l e s s o f 0'C a s e y ' s o p i n i o n o f t h e m o r a l i t y p l a y , t h e i n -t e n t , t h e t e c h n i q u e s , a n d t h e s t r u c t u r e o f h i s own f i n a l p l a y s p o i n t v e r y c l e a r l y t o t h e m o r a l i t y p l a y . To a v o i d d u l l -n e s s i n . h i s own m o r a l i t y p l a y s , O ' C a s e y h a d t o make h i s drama l i v e : " l i v e a s a p a r t o f l i f e , a n d l i v e i n i t s own r i g h t a s a w o r k o f d r a m a . E v e r y C h a r a c t e r , e v e r y l i f e , h o w e v e r m i n o r , t o h a v e s o m e t h i n g t o s a y , c o m i c o r s e r i o u s , and t o s a y i t w e l l . " 3 4 i n h i s l a s t p l a y s , O ' C a s e y p e r f e c t e d a v e r y c o m p l e x a n d o r i g i n a l s t r u c t u r e t o g i v e t h e s e p l a y s t h e n e c e s s a r y l i f e . I t i s , i n f a c t , a k i n d o f m u l t i p l e s t r u c t u r e t h a t O ' C a s e y u s e s t o b u i l d h i s l a s t p l a y s . These p l a y s have l i t t l e o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e b a s e d on p l o t . They a r e an a l m o s t p l o t l e s s i n t e r w e a v i n g o f m e t h o d s o f p r e s e n t a t i o n . E r i c B e n t -l e y , who d i s a p p r o v e s o f 0 ' C a s e y ' s s t y l e , g i v e s a r e a s o n a b l y a c c u r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n o f O ' C a s e y ' s s t r u c t u r e . M r . O ' C a s e y t r i e s i n t h e l a t e r p l a y s t o b u i l d t h e m u s i c , d a n c i n g , a n d i n c i d e n t a l 33 S u n s e t a n d E v e n i n g S t a r , p . 259. 34 New Y o r k T i m e s , N o v . 9, 1958, S e c . 2, p . 1. -50-fun, i n t o the structure of the whole - to the point, indeed, where these elements im-pose and are the structure, and i t i s the narration which i s i n c i d e n t a l .3 5 Mr. Bentley goes on to say that such a method cannot succeed because plot i s "the s o u l " of drama. I t i s s u r p r i s i n g that Mr. Bentley would re p r i n t such a comment as l a t e as 1956, a f t e r the c r i t i c a l , l i t e r a r y , and commercial success of the plays of the Theatre of the Absurd. I t i s surely no longer necessary to require plot as an absolute c r i t e r i o n f o r dra-matic success. O'Casey's morality plays can, however, be considered to have what A.P. Rossiter c a l l s the a l l e g o r i c a l plot of the English morality p l a y s . ^ Whether or not w e choose to l a b e l the series of events i n O'Casey's l a s t plays as a l l e g o r i c a l p l o t , the structure of O'Casey's l a s t f i v e plays can b e described as a simultan-eous development of the l e v e l s of f a r c e , s a t i r e , fantasy, and symbolism. The t r a d i t i o n a l structure of both comedy and tragedy develops the drama by focussing on a strong c e n t r a l p l o t l i n e and may or may not include secondary plots to add facets to the c e n t r a l p l o t . O'Casey's l a s t plays have only the most tenuous of p l o t l i n e s . Instead, O'Casey develops h i s l a s t plays by playing one l e v e l o f f against the other i n a dramatic counterpoint. Each mode of development i s l a r g e l y 35 E r i c Bentley, What Is Theatre (New York, 1956), p. 109. 36 A.P. R o s s i t e r , English Drama from Early Times to the Elizabethans (London, 1950j, p. 19. -51-i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e o t h e r s - e a c h l e v e l u s i n g i t s own t e c h -n i q u e s , h a v i n g i t s p a r t i c u l a r t y p e o f c h a r a c t e r , and c l a r i -f y i n g i t s i n d i v i d u a l a s p e c t o f t h e t h e m e . None o f t h e s e -q u e n c e s o f f a r c e , f a n t a s y , s a t i r e , o r s y m b o l i s m a r e i n c i d e n -t a l e v e n t s a d d e d t o f i l l o u t t h e p l a y . E a c h l e v e l p r e s e n t s a c o n t i n u o u s l i n e o f d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h t h e p l a y , b u t t h e l e v e l s a r e i n t e r l o c k e d and g i v e n c o n t i n u i t y t h r o u g h a s t r o n g s t a t e m e n t o f t h e m e . E a c h l e v e l a d d s c o n t r a s t s and p a r a l l e l s t o t h e comment made by t h e o t h e r l e v e l s a s w e l l a s m a k i n g i t s p a r t i c u l a r s t a t e m e n t t o g i v e g r e a t d e n s i t y t o t h e t h e m a t i c s t a t e m e n t . To be c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e s t r u c t u r e o f 0 *C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s i s i n d e e d f o r m e d b y f o u r i n d e p e n d e n t modes o f d e v e l o p -m e n t , i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o a n a l y s e how e a c h o f t h e l e v e l s w o r k s i n i s o l a t i o n . S u c h a n a n a l y s i s w i l l show a t t h e same t i m e , I b e l i e v e , t h a t t h e l e v e l s o f d e v e l o p m e n t a r e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d . T h a t t h e l e v e l s o f f a r c e and s a t i r e have a c l o s e a f f i n i t y i s q u i t e o b v i o u s . B o t h f a r c e and s a t i r e l o o k a t m a n ' s b e h a v i o r and comment on man i n h i s s o c i a l w o r l d . W i t h f a r c e and s a t i r e we l o o k a t t h e a c t u a l m a t e r i a l w o r l d . F a n -t a s y , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , l e a d s u s away f r o m t h e a c t u a l i n t o t h e w o r l d o f t h e i m a g i n a t i o n . A s t u d y o f t h e f a n t a s y i n O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s , o f c o u r s e , l e a d s d i r e c t l y t o a c o n s i d -e r a t i o n o f t h e a l l e g o r i c a l s t a t e m e n t made p r i m a r i l y a t t h e l e v e l o f s y m b o l i s m . I f we l o o k a t t h e s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l s i n t h e o r d e r o f f a r c e , s a t i r e , f a n t a s y , s y m b o l i s m , we c a n r e --52-cognize the pattern of O'Casey's movement towards an empha-sis on man's spiritual reality. O'Casey's religious ideal does not, however, separate man from his physical world. Thus, we can see that the levels must be carefully integrated. Because the element of farce is so immediately appar-ent in O'Casey's last plays, i t is appropriate that we begin our examination of the structural levels with that of farce. 0'Casey f i l l s his last plays with many of the conventional elements of farce essentially, of course, to create laughter. We cannot help laughing at the exaggerated and repeated ac-tiv i t y of chases, fights, f a l l s , and courtings created by some of the most comic and appealing characters of the stage. O'Casey is not, however, using farce just to obtain gratui-tous laughter. In addition to making an audience joyous, farce always focuses on man's body, and thus keeps part of our attention on the realm of the physical. One of the as-pects of this physical world that farce emphasizes is vio-lence. Farce allows 0'Casey to present the brutality of the "anti-life" forces without losing the emotional effect of laughter. At the same time, he can point up the ludicrous pomposity of the pseudo-religious. Rather than continue a general discussion of farce, however, let us note some of the scenes that occur in the plays from Cock-A-Doodle Dandy to Figuro in the Night to see O'Casey's thematic methods. We w i l l look at a different aspect of farce in each play, and i f we remember that a l l these aspects occur in each play, -53-we will recognize the intricacy of 0'Casey's farce. The hilarious physical activity of these plays shows O'Casey to be a master in handling farce. As with a l l farce the entertainment occurs primarily because of the visual spectacle of frenzied activity that has no sensible purpose of direction. Cock-A-Doodle Dandy has many memorable farce scenes in which much of the comedy is derived from seeing the absurd posturing and the chaotic rushing about of char-acters trying to escape from self-created enemies. There is the marvelous scene of the chairs collapsing and Michael and Sailor Mahan landing on their backsides just as Michael says "We won't be able soon to s i t steady on our chairs" (p. 159) The men, except Robin and Father Domineer, are constantly crouching behind the chairs, the table, the wall, or lying f l a t out on the ground in futile farcical attempts to hide from their magical tormentor. Sailor Mahan's comic court-ship of Loreleen becomes a farce dance as he awkwardly swing his leg over the chairs, s t i f f l y vaults on to the table and finally attempts to 'shinny' up the flagpole. Of course, the major farce scene of the play is that of the men desper-ately trying to keep their trousers up in the mysterious wind that constantly pulls them down. With such scenes as these in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, i t is difficult to take too seriously Robert Hogan's comment that the major distinction between Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and The Bishop's Bonfire is that The Bishop's Bonfire contains much farce and Cock-A-Doodle - 5 4 -Dandy is written as a fantasy throughout.?''' Certainly, The Bishop's Bonfire contains many scenes of marvelous visual farce. The constant half-hearted wrestling matches of the Prodical and Rankin, two rather cowardly men, are given a decidedly farcical treatment as they push, and shove, and waver on the very edge of the scaffold. Finally, one f a l l s off, pulling the other with him. They both jump back up and go through the motions a l l over again. This is a farce pattern that has been used successfully in countless silent movies. The most beautiful farce scene of a l l O'Cas-ey's plays is surely that scene in which the Codger, with drunken dignity, attempts to carry an enormous bag of cement. Unfortunately, after much staggering under the weight, Cod-ger goes careening through the open glass doors. In the silence that follows, clouds of cement waft on to the stage. This must be a classic farce scene for the elements are re-fined to perfection. The level of farcical action continues throughout to the se cond last scene of the play where the Codger and Prodical furtively attempt to steal back Prodi-cal's bottle of whiskey from under the statue of Saint Tre-molo. As well as providing hilarious entertainment, these farce scenes give the play a pattern of very comic frenzied activity. As in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. this frenzy of misdir-ected energy suggests visually the general chaos that O'Casey 37 Hogan, p. 117 sees in the world around him. Not only does the frenzied activity suggest the chaos of the world, i t also shows us an undercurrent of violence. In almost a l l farce there is comic physical conflict. Farce characters are constantly falling on their behinds, fighting, pursuing, and beating one another. It is funny because i t i s never realistic, but we cannot ignore that i t is only an exaggeration of the vio-lence that actually exists in the world. O'Casey is cer-tainly using farce, in part, to ridicule and underline the danger of man's violence. Because the exaggerations of the ridiculous in man's activity are very funny, we never feel that the chaos or violence is irremediable. The comic char-acters are loveable even in their folly and their energy could be directed to the good. The farce scenes of a l l five plays give the same visual effect of frantic and absurd activity. Pomposity has always been the target of farce. In The Drums of Father Ned, O'Casey and the audience have a great deal of fun at the expense of the pompous fools in the play. Mr. Murray and Father Fillifogue are the centre of numerous farce scenes. Perhaps the funniest occurs at the end of Act I. They engage in a vigorous tug-of-war with Father Fillifogue's umbrella while carrying on a shouting match about the merits of Mozart in the Church. During the tumult of the argument, the choir surreptitiously steals away one by one. In this and other similar encounters of the play, -56-Mr. Murray loses no stature. He has no false front to be stripped off. Only Father Fillifogue has his pomposity pricked. In the same way, in the delightful scene between Bernadette and Skerighan, i t is only Skerighan who suffers. This foolish man is afraid to be seen dancing w i t h a young g i r l . This scene of Bernadette's pseudo-pious response to Skerighan's attentions and Skerighan's absurd reactions is pure farce. So too, are the numerous exhibitions of Mrs. Binnington and Mrs. McGilligan's curtseying and "graceful" movement. They invariably land on their bottoms rather than on the chair they were aiming for. As soon as they give up their natural approach and attempt to adopt pretentious at-titudes , they lose their sensible outlook and become ludi-crous. Binnington and McGilligan are so self-inflated that they are ludicrous from beginning to end. The ridicule of pomposity is a most important thematic aspect of farce in a l l O'Casey's last plays. Each of the plays has numerous scenes in which man's affectations are exaggerated to farci-cal limits. For O'Casey, natural man is good and beautiful, but when man adopts false fronts, he becomes absurd and an easy prey for the forces of ev i l . But i f we can see and laugh at the folly of pretension, we may yet be saved. The major farce scenes of Behind the Green Curtains show yet another aspect of O'Casey's use of farce. The farce in this play centres around Lizzie and Angela and their nagging desire for another pint in spite of their vows -57-t© give up drink. Of course, they succumb to their desire, and at the end of Scene I, they stagger on to the stage only to f a l l flat out on the ground. These two characters have no integral relation to the other characters and actions in the play. At f i r s t , i t would seem that they are used solely to provide laughs, which indeed they do. By the end of the scene, we realize that their comic speculations about the saints, their absurd vow, and their very funny final en-trance are meant to be seen as comic parallels to the antics of Chatastray and the artists. Indeed, by comparison, the actions of the artists are far more farcical than those of Angela and Lizzie. Farce generally has this two-edged ef-fect. The buffoons certainly point up their own folly, but because their actions are only exaggerations of the norm, the normal itself is ridiculed even more than the comic char-acter. O'Casey makes effective use of this two-edged aspect of farce. The comic characters not only unconsciously r i d i -cule the normal attitudes of society in general but also un-consciously ridicule the attitudes of other characters with-in the actual play. This is one of O'Casey's methods of counterpointing levels of development. O'Casey uses this particular method of farce parallels in a l l the last plays except Figuro in the Night, where there are no representa-tives of the existing normal point of view. The farce of Figuro in the Night places the emphasis on man's physical nature even more obviously than do the - 5 8 -farce scenes of the other plays. The entire play contrasts the beauty of natural physical responses with the ludicrous-ness of inhibited physical responses. At the end of Scene I, we see the tottering decrepit old couple suddenly become afraid of being seen on the road together. Someone might come to the conclusion that this ancient pair was planning some evil sexual activity together. Scene II presents the revolving deaf and blind reporters and numerous old people with exaggerated tatters, groans and bandages describing the turbulent events in the city. This turbulence is caused by a miraculous glorification of sexuality occurring in the city. Here, as in the other four plays, the emphasis of the farce is on the physical nature of man, which is important to the thematic development of the plays. O'Casey i s , after a l l , concerned about society's repression of wholesome sexual de-sires. The farce always brings our attention back to the physical world. O'Casey also uses farce scenes in somewhat the same way as the playwrights of the theatre of the absurd to sug-gest man's loss of dignity. The difference between O'Casey and the absurdists is that the lack of dignity is not, for O'Casey, a part of the human condition. Rather, the lack of dignity occurs because man has allowed his natural dignity to be corrupted by the pretensions of Church, State and soc-i a l position. In each of the five plays we can see that, similar to the absurdists, O'Casey frequently shows a lack -59-of dignity through lost or outlandish clothing and through many vaudevillian pratfalls. As a farewell gesture, the Cock stirs up a mighty wind to whip the trousers off a l l the "life-frighteners" of Nyad-nanave. Under the force of the Cock's wind, the men desper-ately and very comically try to hold on to their trousers and their respectability to no avail. In Ballyoonagh, Coun-c i l l o r Reiligan forces Daniel, Prodical, and Rankin to wear dress suits for the Bishop's v i s i t . But Daniel's is much too baggy, Prodical»s too tight, and Rankin goes without his dress shoes that hurt. Certainly, the three look very fool-ish for submitting to such ridiculous garb, but Reiligan looks even more foolish for thinking that this preposterous trio looks at a l l impressive. Binnington and McGilligan of Doonavale look sufficiently outlandish in their over-elabor-ate robes of office that f i t , and when, at the end of the play, these robes have become enormous, Binnington and McGil-ligan become hilarious. Although the mockery in Behind the Green Curtains is much more bitterly satiric, O'Casey's ex-aggerated presentation of the sackcloth garb of the artists has much of the farcical loss of dignity through absurd clo-thing. In Figuro in the Night, the extensive bandages and the extremely torn and tattered clothing comically suggest the lack of human dignity in false piety. The occurrences of the pratfall are too numerous to l i s t . The comic characters are constantly landing on their -60-backsides in highly undignified sprawls. Of a l l the char-acters who land so unceremoniously on their behinds, only Codger can arise with his dignity intact. Because of Cod-ger's wisdom and humanity, and because of the concern shown by the other characters on stage, we find our h i l a r i t y temp-ered by a certain amount of alarm. O'Casey does not actually show Codger's f a l l on stage. We only see Codger staggering and disappearing, the clouds of cement, and the stunned ex-pressions on the faces of the onlookers. Probably even Cod-ger 's dignity would not survive such a magnificent f a l l on stage. The other comic characters retain almost no dignity after their numerous f a l l s . Even Mrs. Binnington and Mrs. McGilligan, to whom O'Casey gives a measure of sense, cannot be taken too seriously. They are so concerned with their social appearance that they cannot see how foolish they look. And although they recognize their husbands' folly, they do nothing to fight i t . Farce makes particularly effective use of repetition. Anything ridiculous seems even more so when repeated. As we have already suggested, O'Casey increases the intensity of his farce through a great deal of repetition. With O'Casey, the repetition certainly increases the laughter, but, more important, what is repeated and laughed at is thematically significant. For example, in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, every time any violent activity generated by the Cock occurs to frighten them, Michael and Sailor Mahan leap for protection -61-behind some flimsy object. Their folly, lack of judgment, and their cowardice are ridiculed, but i t is their foolish desire to hide from l i f e that becomes increasingly apparent and ludicrous. When we see poor Rankin, of The Bishop's Bonfire, interrupted three times at prayer before he can get beyond the opening statement, we are highly delighted. We laugh at his over-elaborate proceedings, his extreme caution, and his fear, but particularly at the subservience of his kind of prayer. In The Drums of Father Ned. a play about the victory of the forces of l i f e , there is a very interest-ing use made of repetition to underline the theme. Just as Binnington and McGilligan appear in their suddenly overgrown robes of office, we hear a death march. The Town Clerk and The Macebearer dropped dead at a shout from Father Ned -"plonk, plonk". Murray and Father Fillifogue repeat the plonk plonks five times in their description of the deaths. These are comic deaths. The fear of death has been over-come by love and l i f e , and to use this fear as means of dom-ination is ridiculed. Although we have given only a few examples, we can see that O'Casey effectively uses farce repetition in a l l the last plays to intensify the humour and underline the theme of the farce level. It is obvious that O'Casey's use of farce is both s k i l l f u l and complex. Structurally, the farce establishes the sides of the battle between the forces of good and evil. Except for Codger, who transcends a l l levels, none of the -62 -characters who believe in the religion of l i f e are treated farcically. The farce, however, by exaggerating the very human qualities of the comic characters, makes these char-acters extremely appealing. Because of this appeal, we never feel that these characters are hopelessly damned. As we have seen, the farcical destruction they carry on i l l u s -trates O'Casey's belief that man by nature must fight the forces of tyranny, even i f the individual i s unconscious that he i s , in fact, fighting tyranny. The farce also i l -lustrates the mindless fear that grips the comic characters. They are almost completely controlled and dominated by the forces of e v i l . Finally, of course, the laughter produced by the farce establishes the right emotional attitude in the audience. The sense of release and joy that good farce pro-duces is a part of O'Casey's religion of l i f e . Just to laugh at the folly of the buffoons, however, is not enough to bring about any change in the world. The causes for their absurdities must be attacked. It is for this purpose that O'Casey introduces satire. Satire and farce are closely linked because they both reveal aspects of man's social folly. The major distinctions between the two are of appeal and tone. Farce appeals to the emotions where-as satire appeals to the intellect. We never despise the objects of ridicule in farce. We enjoy them. Satire is generally bitter and harsh and we must hate what is ridiculed. Certainly, O'Casey's farce creates an appeal and sympathy -63-f o r h i s c h a r a c t e r s , b u t h i s s a t i r e makes no a l l o w a n c e f o r s y m p a t h y . He s l a s h e s o u t a t t h e f o l l y o f h i s human s u b j e c t s . S a t i r e c r i t i c i z e s , a t l e a s t o n t h e s u r f a c e , more s p e c i f i c p r o b l e m s and a t t i t u d e s t h a n f a r c e d o e s . T h u s , i t i s o n t h e s a t i r i c l e v e l t h a t t h e I r i s h n e s s o f t h e l a s t p l a y s i s most a p p a r e n t . O ' C a s e y c e r t a i n l y f e e l s t h a t I r e l a n d ' s m a j o r p r o b l e m s a r e a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f t h e c o n t r o l e x e r c i s e d b y t h e C h u r c h . The most c o n s t a n t t a r g e t s o f 0 ' C a s e y ' s c e n s u r e a r e t h e I r i s h m a n ' s f a i t h i n t h e m a g i c o f t h e C h u r c h , r ampant m a t e r i a l i s m , and pompous s e l f - g l o r i f i c a t i o n . O ' C a s e y ' s b i t t e r e s t a t t a c k i s , o f c o u r s e , d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t h e power o f t h e C h u r c h i n I r e l a n d . F o r O ' C a s e y , t h e C h u r c h i s t h e most e n s l a v i n g d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e i n I r e -l a n d t o - d a y b e c a u s e , i n s t e a d o f h a v i n g a t r u e r e l i g i o u s s p i r i t , t h e C h u r c h has n o t h i n g b u t a d e s i r e f o r d o m i n a t i o n . I n a d d i t i o n t o comment ing o n t h e a c t u a l I r i s h s i t u a t i o n , t h e s a t i r i c l e v e l o f t h e l a s t p l a y s a d d s d e p t h t o O ' C a s e y ' s b a s i c r e l i g i o u s theme o f t h e c e l e b r a t i o n o f l i f e . T h r o u g h -o u t t h e s a t i r i c l e v e l , O ' C a s e y c o n t r a s t s what a c t u a l l y e x i s t s and what m i g h t e x i s t w i t h i n t h e C h u r c h . I n O ' C a s e y ' s v i e w , t h e C h u r c h s h o u l d h e l p t o c r e a t e s e l f - r e l i a n c e , i n i t -i a t i v e , and i n d e p e n d e n c e i n men. I n s t e a d , t h e C h u r c h makes man weak and t o t a l l y dependent b y c o n t r o l l i n g h i s s p i r i t u a l , p h y s i c a l , and e v e n e c o n o m i c a f f a i r s . O ' C a s e y ' s message t o t h e I r i s h p e o p l e i s : Y o u ' v e e s c a p e d f r o m t h e b i g h o u s e w i t h t h e l i o n and t h e u n i c o r n on i t s f r o n t ; d o n ' t l e t -64-yourselves sink beneath the meaner dominion of the big shop with the cross and shamrock on i t s gable, (The Bishop's Bonfire, p. 77). In his essays and autobiographies, O'Casey quotes numerous examples from Irish newspapers of the present strength of this control. The four major O'Casey critics, J u l e s Koslow, David Krause, Robert Hogan, and Saros Cowasjee, a l l give in-dependent examples of the destructive effect of the Irish Church's domination. The reaction of the Irish clergy to the work of many of Ireland's creative talents, makes us more than willing to accept the truth of O'Casey's charges. Certainly, any serious writer who uses the Irish scene as a background must consider the position of the Church in this scene. O'Casey's satire of the Irishman's faith in the magic of the Church is often savage and not particularly subtle. There is the obvious satire contained in the names of the Church figures and saints. It is impossible to mistake the significance in the names Father Domineer, Father Fillifogue, and Canon Burren who lights the bonfire. The satiric com-ment on the attitudes of the inhabitants of the towns is quite apparent in the names of these towns, Nyadnanave (the nest of fools, and for non-Irish speakers emphasis is on knavery), Ballyoonagh (the implications of eunuch), and Doonavale. So, too, we cannot mistake the satiric tone of the names of the saints. O'Casey's gallery of Saints in-cludes the Saints Casabianca, Ishkabahee, Sinfoilio, Gusto-- 6 5 -dious, Crankarious, and Tremolo. To make the satire of saints more pointed O'Casey tells us about the statue of Saint Crankarious standing on his head at the sight of Lore-leen "to circumvent th' lurin' quality of her presence" (Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, p. 2 2 0 ) , and the statue of poor St. Patrick "makin' a skelp at her (loreleenj with his crozier; f a l l i n ' flat on his face, stunned, when he missed!" (p. 2 2 0 ) . The statue of St. Iremolo i s a grotesque piece of modern sculpture which sounds a huge coiled horn every time the saint is annoyed with the gaiety and freedom the people oc-casionally express. This exaggeration of the saints r i d i -cules the idea of saints, but particularly ridicules the people who will worship such fantastic creatures. Only those who are completely caught up in Church piety hear Tremolo, the "boyo with the buckineeno". The idea of saint worship is also rather cleverly mocked in the jeep scene of The Bishop's Bonfire. Just be-fore Lieutenant Reiligan, Prodical, Daniel, and Codger carry on their gloriously insane argument about the necessity of parachuting thousands of jeeps into Ireland in the event of a Russian invasion, O'Casey has the four men comment on the value of saints. In spite of Codger's sarcastic remark, "the one thing increasin' in Ireland - the population of stone an' wooden saints" (p. 5 2 ) , the other three men believe that "the way the country's in, we need a l l the help we can get from the saints" (p. 5 4 ) . This is the remark that sends -66-Lieutenant Reiligan off on a torrent of praise for the jeep. His mindless worship of the jeep is no more irrational than the whole country's mindless worship of saints. An audience cannot f a i l to see the similarity in the two kinds of wor-ship. At the same time, we recognize a satire of the faith in weapons that has afflicted the entire world. Catholic Ireland may be plagued with too much saint worship, but the whole world suffers from weapon worship. In the Lizzie-Angela scene of Behind the Green Cur-tains. O'Casey strikes sharply at the absurdity of praying to and expecting help from saints. Typically, the charac-ters' own statements make a devastating comment on their folly . Angela A Saint has to know your outs an' ins before he gives a beck; a Blessed buz-zes down, a l l ears, minute he hears his name mentioned. What I say is that th' Saints get kinda stuck-up y'know, an' th' one chance a body has is with th' Blesseds. Lizzie. Don't I know i t I Th' Blesseds has to keep on their toes to get notice, i f they wants to be hoisted up into higher place. (pp. 1 2 - 1 3 ) . Neither Saints nor Blesseds come out too well on the tongues of Angela and Lizzie. Angela and Lizzie, like most Irish-men, have come to rely so completely on the non-existent help of the saints that they no longer realize that, "when we have problems....ourselves are the saints to solve them" (The Bishop's Bonfire, p. 114). O'Casey satirizes the reasons for prayer and the -67-attitude of prayer apparently required by the Church. O'Cas-ey's comic characters always utter prayers whenever something startling or frightening occurs. The prayer is an automatic response, just as falling to the knees, admitting guilt and begging forgiveness i f the priest commands i t is automatic. The priest may be more guilty than the man on his knees, but because he is a priest one must bow before him. The irony of asking forgiveness for being joyful from Father Domineer who has, in a blind rage, killed a man is deliberately ob-vious. With Rankin's prayers, O'Casey's satire is amusing rather than savage, but Rankin's mad obsession with prayer and sin i s a comic parallel to that of Foorawn. As a result, the satire has darker overtones. In Behind the Green Cur-tains, 0'Casey's satire of the prayerful attitude of submis-sion becomes bitter again. The picture of the artists wear-ing their sackcloth garb and clasping their hands in prayer is very funny, but i t i s also very harsh in view of the ugly violence that has gone before. Instead of recognizing the true sense of prayer contained in a gay song or in useful activity, the Church uses a submissive form of prayer to assert its power. O'Casey also lashes out at the belief in supernatural miracles that the Church teaches. For O'Casey, there can only be man-made miracles. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, the Church dominated characters believe as implicitly in the in-credible tales of miraculous events of Shanaar as they do in the c e r t a i n t y of a miraculous cure at Lourdes f o r J u l i a . For O'Casey and the audience, b e l i e f i n e i t h e r becomes equal-l y f a n t a s t i c . B e l i e f i n both does great harm. O'Casey's s a t i r i c handling of b e l i e f i n miracles i s more comically and l e s s savagely treated i n Behind the Green Curtains. Poor Basawn b e l i e v e s completely that the Statue of the Blessed V i r g i n of Syracuse wept r e a l t e a r s because the husband of a woman of Syracuse was a Communist. Unfortunately, Basawn becomes so confused i n h i s explanation of Beoman that both he and h i s b e l i e f become l u d i c r o u s . The major c r i t i c i s m of the Church, i n Ireland that O'Casey makes again and again i n h i s plays i s that, by en-f o r c i n g absolute r e l i a n c e on i t s teachings, i t destroys a l l i n i t i a t i v e i n the people and replaces t h i s i n i t i a t i v e with f e a r . Thus, O'Casey d i r e c t s h i s sharpest s a t i r i c comments against the f e a r of knowledge, of beauty, and of sex that he i n s i s t s the Church has brought about. In each of the plays, there i s a book-burning desired or a c t u a l l y planned under the auspices of the Church. The contrast between the f o l l y and destructiveness of such ignorance with the accomplish-ment and joy of knowledge i s made very c l e a r . By the same use of obvious contrasts and exaggeration, O'Casey s a t i r i z e s the f e a r of beauty i n a l l i t s forms. The Church's r e s t r i c -tions on music, on dancing, on c o l o u r f u l a l l u r i n g c l o t h i n g become r i d i c u l o u s . I t i s the f e a r of sex, however, that i s the f o c a l point -69-of O'Casey's satire in every play. O'Casey is at his most harsh when he depicts the fanatic aversion to any form of natural sexual behavior in the religious zealots like Shan-aar, One-Eyed Larry, Rankin, Kornavaun. These characters express their aversion in ugly violence and lurid startling language. Instead of Christian men of love, these characters are vicious dirty-minded men whose natural instincts have become perverted. O'Casey treats his less rabid male char-acters much more kindly. They, too, are caught up in the general fear of natural sexual desires. They see horns sprouting from the heads of attractive young women; they be-lieve in the power of the demons "Velvetthighs, Kissalass, Dancealong"; they cower before the priest who warns them of the sins of the flesh. In spite of themselves and the Church, however, they constantly suecumb to the beauties and attrac-tions of women. Michael Marthraun, Sailor Mahan, Daniel, Skerighan, Chatastray, a l l respond naturally, on occasion, to the delightful promise of physical love. They may be fools in their fears, but they are not dangerous fools. O'Casey not only accuses the Church of promoting ig-norance and sexual perversion, he also accuses the Church of complete materialism. O'Casey makes numerous satiric jabs at the Church's desire for money. In The Bishop's Bonfire, for example, Canon Burren warns Reiligan against his love of money. Canon. You think too much of mere money-making, Councillor. I must remind you -70-that there are more important things than even half a thousand pounds. ( p . 5 ) . Only a few speeches later the Canon exclaims "Roses? PshawJ ....Roses cost money, Councillor. The church needs money more than your wall needs roses.'" (p. 6). It is t h i s double attitude toward money that O'Casey's businessmen imitate. Michael and Sailor Mahan constantly complain about the "grow-ing materialism" as they argue over paying their workmen two shillings more. The only value Councillor Reiligan can see in Codger and Manus is that they save him a great deal of money. Of course, Binnington and McGilligan can forget their violent feud, their political beliefs, and their religious teaching when they are concerned with making more money. After a l l , "business is business". Chatastray would like to accept the love of Reena, but he cannot give up his factory. His friends are only friends for the money they can get out of him. 0'Casey's satiric pen also ridicules foolish self-glorification, fuzzy dangerous political thinking, self-seeking ignorant artists, a blind, deaf and tied press, and an unreasonable childish fear of Communism. The satiric level of O'Casey's last plays i s , then, both general and specific. O'Casey satirizes follies common to a l l men, but the weight of his satire f a l l s on the particular Irish prob-lem of Church power. Thus, the satiric level of these plays presents a severe social commentary on contemporary Ireland. -71-T h a t O ' C a s e y i s one among many I r i s h w r i t e r s t o c r i t i c i z e p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e c o n t r o l o f t h e C h u r c h i n I r e l a n d makes u s w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t h i s d r a m a t i c s o c i a l commentary a s v a l i d a n d j u s t i f i e d . A l t h o u g h O ' C a s e y ' s s a t i r e i s o f t e n b i t t e r and s c a t h i n g , h i s p o i n t o f v i e w , when we c o n s i d e r t h e f i v e l a s t p l a y s t o -g e t h e r , i s r e m a r k a b l y p o s i t i v e . T h i s p o s i t i v e q u a l i t y i s most c l e a r l y e v i d e n t on t h e f a n t a s y l e v e l o f t h e p l a y s . The f a n t a s y e f f e c t s w h i c h O ' C a s e y u s e s a r e t h o s e o f t h e f a i r y t a l e . C o l o u r , s t y l i z a t i o n , m u s i c , d a n c e , and m a g i c a l e v e n t s c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e f a n t a s y l e v e l o f t h e l a s t p l a y s . The two d a r k e s t p l a y s o f t h e g r o u p , The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e and B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s , h a v e v e r y f e w a c t u a l f a n t a s y e f f e c t s . T h e B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e h a s o n l y two e v e n t s o f t h e m a g i c t h a t i s u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h f a n t a s y . T h e r e i s t h e h o r n b l a s t o f S t . T r e m o l o e v e r y t i m e he i s d i s p l e a s e d w i t h t h e j o y o u s -n e s s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s , and t h e r e i s t h e s u d d e n d a r k n e s s and w i n d i n t h e h o u s e a t t h e end o f A c t I I t h a t d i s a p p e a r s a s s u d d e n l y a s i t a p p e a r e d . B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s h a s none o f t h i s f a i r y t a l e m a g i c . B o t h p l a y s have j u s t a h i n t o f t h e s t y l i z a t i o n and c o l o u r o f s e t t i n g and c o s t u m e s o f t h e o t h e r t h r e e p l a y s . Of c o u r s e , b o t h The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e and B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s a r e d e l i b e r a t e l y more b l e a k . They p r e s e n t t h e r e a l w o r l d where t h e r e c a n be l i t t l e r e l i e f g a i n e d f r o m f a i r y t a l e s . The o n l y f a n t a s i e s p o s s i b l e a r e t h o s e d i s t o r t e d ones t h a t t h e C h u r c h e n c o u r a g e s . -72-C o c k - A - D o o d l e D a n d y , w h i c h i s o n l y s l i g h t l y l e s s b l e a k t h a n The B i s h o p ' s B o n f i r e a n d B e h i n d t h e G r e e n C u r t a i n s , i s t h e p l a y w h i c h e x p l o i t s f a n t a s y t e c h n i q u e s t o t h e g r e a t e s t e x t e n t • The C o c k i s c o n s t a n t l y p l a y i n g m a r v e l o u s m a g i c a l t r i c k s o n t h e u n b e l i e v e r s o f N y a d n a n a v e . The o l d e r men i n t h e p l a y a r e t o r m e n t e d by demons i n w h i s k e y b o t t l e s , c h a i r s t h a t s u d d e n l y c o l l a p s e , gay h o r n s t h a t s u d d e n l y a p p e a r o n t h e g i r l s ' h e a d s , t o p h a t s t h a t c h a n g e i n t o t h e C o c k , a n a m a z i n g a s s o r t m e n t o f j e e r i n g s o u n d e f f e c t s , and a s t r a n g e w i n d t h a t i n s i s t s o n p u l l i n g t h e i r t r o u s e r s o f f a s i t f o r c e s t h e m i n t o a w o n d e r f u l l y w e i r d d a n c e . The b r i l l i a n t c o l o u r a n d v e r y marked s t y l i z a t i o n o f b o t h c o s t u m e s and s e t t i n g c o u l d r e a d i l y be t h o u g h t a p a r t o f a c h i l d r e n ' s p l a y . The f i g u r e o f t h e C o c k h i m s e l f c o u l d have s t e p p e d o u t o f a n y num-b e r o f f a i r y t a l e s . F i n a l l y , t h e p l a y i s f i l l e d w i t h m u s i c and d a n c i n g w h i c h a r e a l s o t r a d i t i o n a l i n f a i r y t a l e f a n t a s -i e s . I n s p i t e o f a l l t h i s g a i e t y , t h e p l a y i s t e r r i b l y s o m -b r e a t t h e f i n a l c u r t a i n . We r e a l i z e more a n d more s t r o n g l y t h a t a l l t h e e x u b e r a n c e and j o y t h e p l a y e x p r e s s e s i s n o t p a r t o f t h e r e a l w o r l d a t a l l . E v e n t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f f i g h t i n g t h o s e who w o u l d k i l l g a i e t y b e l o n g s i n t h e r e a l m o f t h e f a i r y t a l e . The o n l y s a l v a t i o n t h e Cock c a n o f f e r i s t o t a k e h i s f o l l o w e r s t o " a p l a c e where l i f e r e s e m b l e s l i f e more t h a n i t d o e s h e r e " . B u t J u l i a t e l l s u s t h a t " s h e ' s JLornaJ a l o n g way t o g o , t h e n . I t ' s t h ' same e v e r y w h e r e . " The f a n t a s y t h a t O ' C a s e y u s e s i n The Drums o f F a t h e r -73-Ned and Figuro in the Night offers a far stronger affirma-tion than the rather grim hope presented in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. Interestingly, neither of these plays exhibits on stage nearly as many fantasy effects as Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. Certainly, both plays are surrounded with the aura of fan-tasy's magic, but we actually see very l i t t l e of this magic. O'Casey utilizes the imagination of his audience. Instead of showing us the marvelous events, O'Casey has his charac-ters describe the events, and he shows us the results of the magic on his characters. The atmosphere of fantasy on stage is conveyed through music, dancing, sound effects, and through an increasingly colourful and stylized setting. As youth's victory becomes more certain, the colour and s t y l i -zation seem to become a part of the real world. In these plays, the victory of the forces of love and joy are posit-ively asserted. Thus, there is a lesser need to present magical events to the audience. Once youth has taken up the battle in earnest, they no longer need such obvious help from the supernatural. Their imagination, strength, and de-termination are magic enough. The use of fantasy allows O'Casey to make two important thematic comments. Victory i s s t i l l to be achieved, but i t is possible. The fantasy treatment in even the most positive of the five plays does, however, stress that the victory is not yet won. In fact, the battle itself is s t i l l on the stage of the imagination. The use of the fantasy, though, -74-helps to mellow the bitterness of O'Casey's satiric social commentary. The fantasy treatment thus makes the promise of victory an acceptable possibility. In addition, of course, the fantasy i s structurally significant, as we shall see. Just as the farce scenes serve to identify the charac-ters who should be or are about to be defeated, so the fan-tasy effects identify the characters to whom victory can ultimately come. Only the characters on the side of good-ness wear brilliant colours, particularly combinations of red, green, and black - the Cock's colours and, for O'Casey, the colours signifying l i f e . The other characters are mainly clothed in drab browns and unrelieved blacks, or they wear a virginal blue and the papal colours of white and yellow. Also, only the characters on the side of joy and l i f e can sing and dance in abandoned gaiety. They are the characters who delight in the gaiety and magic. It is the 'life-fright-eners' who are terrified by the magical events of the plays. Thus O'Casey identifies the saved and the damned in his r e l -igion of l i f e . That the fantasy allows the inclusion of otherwise un-motivated action, songs, and dances is also important struc-turally. Even the most non-realistic play must have a logic of construction to be acceptable to an audience. In a real-i s t i c play only events which are appropriate to character, plot, and setting can be included. When a playwright gives up plot and realism, he must find some other cohesive element - 7 5 -t o b r i n g t o g e t h e r the d i v e r s e a s p e c t s o f the p l a y . The f a n -t a s y i n O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r us t o a c -cept such a c t i o n s as M i c h a e l M a r t h r a u n and S a i l o r Mahan t a k -i n g p a r t i n a gay dance and each b e i n g w i l l i n g t o absorb a two s h i l l i n g l o s s i n p r o f i t s . Nor do we f i n d i t d i s t u r b i n g t h a t businessman S k e r i g h a n s h o u l d s u d d e n l y become a F a t h e r Ned c o n v e r t . I n F i g u r o i n the N i g h t , we are even a b l e t o a c c e p t the O l d Woman's momentary complete r e v e r s a l o f c h a r -a c t e r . She was b e w i t c h e d by a s t r a n g e f o r c e i n the a i r . I n a f a i r y t a l e , we expec t the e x t r a o r d i n a r y j u s t as we e x -p e c t sudden complete r e v e r s a l s . I t i s t h e f a n t a s y , t o o , t h a t a l l o w s the i n c l u s i o n o f the m y t h i c a l f i g u r e s o f the C o c k , F a t h e r N e d , the F i g u r o , and t h e i r human r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s who g i v e the p l a y s the a u r a o f m a g i c , m y s t e r y , and the r i t -u a l o f r e l i g i o n . I f the a c t i o n i s r e l a t e d t o the theme, a l -most a n y t h i n g can happen i n a f a n t a s y . The music and dance scenes o f the f a n t a s y h e l p t o l i n k a l l the l e v e l s o f the p l a y s . O'Casey uses f a n t a s y t h e n t o p r o v i d e a r a t i o n a l e t o r e p l a c e t h a t o f p l o t as w e l l as t o make a t h e m a t i c s t a t e m e n t . The s y m b o l i c l e v e l o f O ' C a s e y ' s l a s t p l a y s c a r r i e s and makes o b v i o u s the message o f these p l a y s . I t i s on the sym-b o l i c l e v e l t h a t we r e c o g n i z e the a c t u a l d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e s t r u g g l e o f t h e f o r c e s o f good and e v i l f o r the s o u l o f man. The symbols show the e f f e c t s and the f i n a l outcome o f t h e s t r u g g l e i n terms of O ' C a s e y ' s v i s i o n o f the f u t u r e of m a n k i n d . Throughout these p l a y s t h e r e i s a repeated use of -76-the same symbols in the same manner which gives us yet an-other reason for linking these five plays. Simply stated, O'Casey uses symbolism to pre sent the opposing forces of good and e v i l . Thus, for example, brilliant colour is an attribute of the forces of good, and lack of brilliant col-our is an attribute of the forces of e v i l . This example i s , of course, an over-simplification, but i t does show the kind of oppositions that O'Casey uses to develop the symbolic level of his plays. One of the most apparent recurring symbols is that of the house. As we have already stated, the house represents Ireland, and by extension, the contemporary world. The house in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy i s , from the beginning, painted black and leans slightly askew. As the play progresses, the house becomes more completely black. It shakes and is almost torn apart, and finally is almost completely evacuated. The house of The Bishop's Bonfire is f i l l e d with ugly middle-class ostentation. It is disrupted by the confusion and dis-order of the rebuilding and refurbishing. The confusion and disruption suggest that the attempts at adornment are false and futile. Reiligan's purpose i s not to provide beauty, but rather to make a good impression on the Bishop. Finally, the reflection of the bonfire flickers over the walls of the house. The houses of The Drums of Father Med are likewise f i l l e d with ugly pretentiousness, but the ugliness is grad-ually stripped away and replaced by the brightness of the -77-Tostal decorations. These are in complete harmony with the brilliant night sky that is shown at the end of the play. In Behind the Green Curtains, we see only the interior of Chatastray's house. The predominant feature of his rooms is the heavy green curtains which shut out the world. As Korn-avaun and the Church gain greater control, the rooms become completely disorderly. In Figuro in the Night, we see the opposite kind of transformation. The houses of Scene I are dark and desolate. In Scene II, when the forces of l i f e and joy sweep the land, the houses become bright and brilliantly colourful. In a l l of the plays except Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, the bleak background i s dominated by the spire of a church. With this symbolic use of the house and church, O'Casey's comment on the conditions of the country i s quite clear. Just as the house represents Ireland and a l l countries of the world, so the presence of flowers represents the fer-t i l i t y of the land and the vitality of the people. There are the great golden sunflowers which become completely black by the end of Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, fieiligan would like to cover his wall with roses, but the rose of the Church will have to b e enough beauty for him. The Tostal committee brightens Doonavale with highly coloured window boxes f i l l e d with wonderfully brilliant flowers. Chatastray's rooms con-tain a large flower vase but no flowers. The trees and plants of Figuro in the Night change from bare skeletons to brilliantly flower-covered trees. Even the cross and the -78-obelisk now have wreaths of flowers decorating them. O'Cas-ey shows the presence of youth and love in the people by the presence of flowers on the stage. Those without joy and love have only potted palms or evergreens. O'Casey obviously feels that these plants are a r t i f i c i a l intrusions and signs of superficial pretentiousness. In his last plays, O'Casey develops the use of symbolic characters that was a minor part of his ea r l i e r plays to an important thematic statement. In the discussion of O'Casey's themes we have seen how important the symbolic character has become. Although these last plays contain some marvelous r e a l i s t i c characters, the message of each play i s developed through the symbolic characters - the conflict of the forces of good and e v i l . Most of O'Casey's symbols are directly related to his characters. The costumes are frequently used for the i r sym-bolic suggestiveness rather than to emphasize character t r a i t s . The most obvious example of this occurs in Figuro in the Night• When the Young Man i s persuaded to follow the path of the Figuro and goes i n to the Young G i r l , both he and she emerge wearing sparkling s i l v e r and blue, and gold and blue clothes. The young g i r l s and lads who enter to dance i n celebration are also dressed i n b r i l l i a n t l y c o l -oured clothing. The contrast with the Old People i s ex-tremely marked. As we have already seen, a l l the characters of Cock-A-Doodle Dandy who have some of the joy of l i f e in them wear the Cock's colours, red, green, and black as a part -79-of t h e i r ordinary dress. I t i s true that the Porter, the Bellman, and One-Eyed Larry a l l have b r i l l i a n t red on t h e i r costumes. These costumes are obviously uniforms, however, which simply disguise the drabness beneath. In much the same way, Councillor R e i l i g a n i n Act I I I of The Bishop's Bon-f i r e wears the b r i l l i a n t r e g a l i a of a Papal Count. Again, i t i s a uniform that merely covers up temporarily, the c o l -ourless l i f e beneath. In The Drums of Father Ned. t h i s use of clothing as a disguise i s extremely e f f e c t i v e . We can see that under McGilligan and Binnington Ts very c o l o u r f u l robes of o f f i c e i s t h e i r true d u l l appearance. F i n a l l y , when these robes have mysteriously grown to enormous s i z e , we r e a l i z e that these robes are used to cover up the drab-ness and incompetence of Binnington and McGilligan. By con-t r a s t , the young people of Doonavale are able to wear t h e i r c o l o u r f u l costumes f o r the Tostal pageant so n a t u r a l l y that Skerighan cannot recognize them as costumes at a l l . So i t i s i n a l l the plays, the c o l o u r f u l c l o t h i n g of the genuine life-worshippers reveals the joyousness of the characters, whereas f o r the non life-worshippers, c o l o u r f u l c l o t h i n g acts as an i r o n i c comment on actu a l drabness that e x i s t s beneath the disguise. Just as some of the characters wear highly coloured disguises to hide from r e a l i t y , so many of these same char-acters seek to protect themselves from the r e a l i t y of l i f e with equally f u t i l e defenses. The heavy draperies of both -80-The Drums of Father Ned and Behind the Green Curtains obvious-l y symbolize t h i s attempt to shut out l i f e . The high stone w a l l s of Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and The Bishop's Bonfire, too, in d i c a t e the desire to protect oneself from l i f e . Perhaps the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c method of e s c a p e f o r O'Casey characters i s into the world of the imagination. In a l l h i s plays, O'Casey obviously regards the imagination as a necessary creative f a c u l t y which has great b e n e f i c i a l value i f governed by the r i g h t a t t i t u d e to l i f e . O'Casey, l i k e Shaw before him i n John B u l l ' s Other Island, f e e l s that the Irishman uses h i s imagination to keep from thinking too c l e a r l y and to block out r e a l i t y . As early as The Shadow of a Gunman and continuing through to Figuro i n the Night, O'Casey has depicted numerous male characters who have com-p l e t e l y l o s t touch with r e a l i t y . They are men who have be-come so involved i n t h e i r fancies that they are almost i n -capable of functioning u s e f u l l y i n the r e a l world. There are the memorable fi g u r e s of Davoren, "Captain" Jack Boyle, Peter Flynn, Sylvester Heegan, the A t h e i s t , Roory O'Balacaun, and almost a l l the comic characters of the l a s t plays. They are a l l a f f l i c t e d with a misguided imagination. Although i n the e a r l i e r plays O'Casey seems to f e e l that hiding i n the wondrous world of the imagination i s a f a u l t p a r t i c u l a r l y common among I r i s h men, i n the l a t e r plays he uses the fantasies of h i s characters to symbolize a l l the i l l u s i o n s men use to b l i n d themselves to r e a l i t y . Michael - 8 1 -Marthraun would far rather believe Shanaar's fantastic tales than judge them and the Church critically. To blind himself to the allure of attractive women, Rankin thinks constantly and vividly of the sins that women cause. Just as Skerighan is completely convinced of the evil of Catholicism, so McGil-ligan and Binnington are convinced of the evil of Protest-antism, but none of them can give a single rational reason for his hatred. Kornavaun's ugly imagination is not only faulty, but is positively destructive. Kornavaun's der-anged ravings have their comic counterparts in the wild tales of the Old People of Figuro in the Night. In a l l cases i t is a willful blinding of self to both the ugliness and the beauty of reality. Another characteristic of a l l 0'Casey's plays - almost a trademark of an 0'Casey play - is the hilarious but com-pletely pointless arguments that his comic characters indulge in. The repetition of the arguments gives them a symbolic significance. These arguments seem to symbolize man's will-ingness to evade important and often disturbing issues which require attention in favour of ridiculous subjects about which no argument is possible. Instead of questioning the practices of the Church, Michael and Sailor Mahan argue end-lessly about whether or not God is more likely to listen to the prayers of "Bing Bang Crosby an' other great film stars" than He is to those of the common man. The marvelous jeep argument of The Bishop's Bonfire comically illustrates how -82-o f t e n impossible arguments are preferable to possible a c t i o n on very current problems. There i s Skerighan, M c G i l l i g a n , and Binnington's argument on whether God i s "ipso a Pro t e s t -ant or a Roman C a t h o l i c " . Behind the Green Curtains gives us L i z z i e and Angela's insane argument about the nature o f St. Peter's beard. Almost the whole of Scene I o f Figuro i n the Night i s a d e l i c i o u s l y comic argument between the Old Man and the Old Woman on a multitude of subjects. In each of these examples the w i l d arguments symbolize a too common r e j e c t i o n of important issues - that are supposedly being attended to by the a u t h o r i t i e s - i n favour of argument about a b s t r a c t i o n s . The major issues seem too overwhelming, too out of c o n t r o l f o r the i n d i v i d u a l to cope with. Yet, he cannot b l i n d himself completely to the problems that e x i s t . He must be involved i n some way. Seemingly, the only way to cope with the dilemma i s t o become involved i n verbal a c t i o n only. The i n d i v i d u a l character f e e l s involved without having to a c t . O'Casey's use of the symbolic argument i s an e f f e c t -ive dramatic presentation of the contemporary problem of i n -volvement without a c t i o n that i s al s o treated by such w r i t e r s as Marshall McCluhan and the playwrights of the theatre o f the absurd. O'Casey believes that a s i t u a t i o n of a u t h o r i t a r i a n domination w i l l r e s u l t i n violence and destruc t i o n . In the three dark comedies, he shows the destruction of the i n d i -v i d u a l and a l l that gives him h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y . These -83-scenes of violence have therefore a symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e . In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. Father Domineer k i l l s the Lorry D r i -ver because he w i l l not submit to the w i l l of the Church. Loreleen i s beaten, v i l e l y treated, and f i n a l l y expelled be-cause she has dared to express her i n d i v i d u a l joy, beauty, and love to a world which allows i t s e l f to be controlled by any form of tyranny. This loveless joyless existence i s symbolized at the end of the play by the picture of the empty house, Michael gloomily holding h i s head i n despair, and the dying J u l i a covered e n t i r e l y i n black. There i s nothing l e f t but death. The Bishop's Bonfire presents the destruction of the i n d i v i d u a l on three l e v e l s . The Canon makes c e r t a i n that love between K e e l i n and Daniel w i l l never come to f r u i t i o n . Instead of love and joy, they are doomed to despair and bar-ren l o n e l i n e s s . The Church has so dominated Foorawn that the love between herself and Manus can only express i t s e l f i n a growing f r u s t r a t i o n that must i n e v i t a b l y r e s u l t i n Foor-awn' s death. The Bishop's Bonfire. too, expresses the l o s s of joy through a symbolic expulsion scene. Here, i t i s Cod-ger, the one t r u l y a l i v e person i n Ballyoonagh, who i s turned away. Again, the t o t a l destruction of joy i s symbolized i n a f i n a l p i cture. We see the body of Foorawn i n the Bishop's darkened s i t t i n g room, and the flames of the bonfire which not only burn a l l the " e v i l " books of the town but also seem to engulf the whole of Reiligan's house. -84-The same kind of visual presentation of the destruc-tion of the individual by tyrannical forces occurs in Behind the Green Curtains. Here, we see the abduction of Noneen and Chatastray by Kornavaun's masked thugs, and later hear of the brutality that they both suffered. Noneen, Reena, and Boeman choose a voluntary exile rather than accept the defeat and despair that Chatastray does. In each of the three plays O'Casey depicts through symbolic scenes of vio-lence those who have the strength to fight domination exiled and those who have been weakened by domination forced to suffer living death. In the two joyous plays, O'Casey presents another kind of symbolic destruction - the necessary destruction of a l l that would destroy the joy of l i f e . There is violence in this destruction, but i t is treated comically. As we have seen, the deaths of the Macebearer and the Town Clerk in The Drums of Father Ned are funny. So too, are the injuries suffered by the Old People of Figuro in the Night. Primar-i l y , however, the destruction of evil i s accomplished by active joy, a power once widespread that cannot be overcome by the forces of evil. In both plays, this victory of joy i s symbolized by an increasing amount of colour on the stage, and finally by a victory celebration. In The Drums of Father Ned, we see the gay procession of the young people to the notes of a bugle and the r o l l of Father Ned's drums while McGilligan, Binnington, and Father Fillifogue are slumped in -*5-their chairs in a lamentable condition of absolute defeat. The victory celebration of Figuro in the Night takes the form of a brilliant dance of young couples as the two Old Men sink to the ground, one clasping the Cross and the other clasping the Obelisk. O'Casey's most characteristic symbolic expression of joy i s that of the song and the dance. The song and the dance, like colour, i s , for O'Casey, an actual attribute of the religion of l i f e . At the same time, however, O'Casey uses singing and dancing to dramatically symbolize the joy, freedom, and release that the religion of l i f e can generate. This joy is such a strong force that i t is almost capable of winning over the most determined of the rtlife-frighteners". Michael Marthraun and Sailor Mahan are almost enchanted into abandoning the falsity of their Church-fostered beliefs by the dance ritual that the women inspire. Father Boheroe is almost able to i n s t i l l enough courage into Daniel to stand up to Reiligan by inspiring a dance of love between Keelin and Daniel. The Codger is able to transform Foorawn, i f only momentarily, into the happy vivacious g i r l she should be by leading her in a gay goose-step dance. Chatastray i s almost won over to love by a l i l t i n g love song. Unfortunately, the forces of evil are too strong for the beauty of song and dance. The song and dance do, however, signify the love, joy, communion, and release of individuality that should be a part of l i f e . -86-Th e most theatrically exciting aspect of O'Casey's sym-bolism is that most of i t is depicted through scenes of ac-tion. On the whole, the symbolic objects which appear in an O'Casey play are common symbols that are frequently used and easily recognized. O'Casey's real contribution i s the in-corporation of symbolic scenes of action into the flow of his dramas. The analysis of symbolism completes our study of the structural levels as independent aspects of develop-ment in the plays. We have seen that each level has i t s par-ticular style, form, and type of character. Each level thus develops a very particular feature of the basic theme. The levels are not, however, completely independent. The levels are held together primarily by the controlling allegorical message of the plays. Each of the plays depicts O'Casey's way of salvation for man. As we have seen, each of the lev-els develops aspects of this central theme through parallel and contrasting statements. 0'Casey uses another important technique in addition to parallels and contrasts to counterpoint the levels of de-velopment. The mood and climax of individual scenes are broken by the deliberate intrusion of another mode of devel-opment . It is a method of undercutting one level with an-other. Perhaps a few examples from the plays will give a clearer idea of both the method and the effect of the under-cutting that occurs continuously in the five plays. The gaiety and enchantment of the ritual drinking-dance - 8 7 -scene near the end of Scene II of Cock-A-Doodle Dandy i s un-dercut before i t reaches a climax of joyous exuberance by the entrance of Father Domineer. The gay fantasy i s com-pletely destroyed by the vicious comment of Father Domineer. The nastiness of the Canon and Reiligan*s plans f o r Keelin's marriage, i n The Bishop's Bonfire. i s broken by the f a r c i -cal argument between Codger and Prodical about giving a bot-t l e of whiskey to the Canon. Of course, the f i n a l scene of the play i s an excellent example of how O'Casey plays off the mood of one levels against another. Codger and Prodical, completely unaware of the tragedy within the house, pass the window drunkenly singing and arguing. In The Drums of Father Ned, the mood of the i d y l l i c love scene between Bernadette and Tom i s k i l l e d before i t reaches i t s f u l l e s t expression by the cruelty of Father F i l l i f o g u e . The ridiculous argu-ment between McGeelish, McGeera, and Horawn of Behind the Green Curtains over McGeera's admission into the Irish Acad-emy i s broken by the fantasy sound effect of the doorbell and Reena's entrance. In Figuro in the Night, the fantasy of the bird sounds i s constantly used to undercut and turn i n new directions the farce of the Old Man's and Old Woman's discussions. It can be seen that the undercutting i s structurally and thematically v i t a l to the plays. The undercutting s u c -ceeds not only i n playing the effect and statement of one level off against another but i t also gives to the plays the - 8 8 -kaleidoscopic effect of s h i f t i n g patterns. The constantly shifting patterns are emotionally suggestive of the chaos that O'Casey feels exists i n the actual world. It i s a de-liberate shattering of what Suzanne Langer c a l l s "the comic, the light rhythm of thought."? g Also, this e f f e c t of con-stantly shifting patterns builds an increasing sense of frus-tration which can be resolved only in an inevitable tragic conclusion or released i n a r i t u a l celebration. It is only at the climax then that the constantly shifting patterns of structure are s t i l l e d for a f i n a l dramatic comment. The levels are brought together into a thematic and th e a t r i c a l climax i n the f i n a l scenes of each play. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. this climax builds from the wild wind dance scene into the ugly Father Domineer-Loreleen scene. The quiet Julia scene with i t s b i t t e r underlining of the climax could be equated to the traditional denouement. The climax of The Bishop's Bonfire occurs i n the Manus-Foorawn scene. In this scene, O'Casey substitutes, not entirely successfully, melodrama for fantasy to bring the four levels to a unified climax. The climax of Behind the Green Curtains has an even greater weakness. The climactic union of levels occurs i n the f i n a l struggle for Chatastray between Reena and Kornavaun with the "denouement" i n the following Reena-Chatastray scene. Unfortunately, O'Casey does not end the 38 Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form (New York, 1953), p. 348. -89-play here, but continues i t with the rather sudden Reena-Beoman love scene. This scene may be pleasing sentiment-a l i t y , but the effectiveness of the climax i s d i s s i p a t e d . The climax of the two joyous comedies, of course, occurs i n the g l o r i o u s a f f i r m a t i o n of the Comus-like celebration r i t u a l . Perhaps the f i n a l words to describe the structure of O'Casey's f i v e l a s t plays should be l e f t to O'Casey himself. In a l e t t e r to David Krause, O'Casey gives an accurate meta-phoric d e s c r i p t i o n of the structure of h i s l a s t plays. This microcosm [The Drums of Father Ned] i s meant (successfully or not, I don't know) to portray the whole condition of Ireland as she i s ; i s f o r today, a c o l o r l e s s k a l -eidoscope, a kaleidoscope, t w i s t i t how you may, never shows a c o l o r f u l or s e t t l e d pat-t e r n ; that i s the technique which no one seemingly could accept;39 This metaphor of the kaleidoscope describes rather e f f e c t -i v e l y the s h i f t i n g patterns of movement that form the s t r u c -ture of these l a s t plays. In another l e t t e r , to Robert Hogan, O'Casey makes an a d d i t i o n a l i l l u m i n a t i n g comment on the structure of The Drums of Father Ned which applies equally w e l l to a l l f i v e plays. ...the form was an e f f o r t to do something l i k e what R. Strauss did i n h i s music to Don Chichote, picture following picture i n sounds of l o v e l y music. The play t r i e s to show some dramatic pictures of present-day Ireland; of course, the drama form i s no way comparable to Strauss' l o v e l y creation tho' when I was w r i t i n g i t , I didn't think of Strauss, hadn't even heard i t ; but some 39 Quoted i n Hogan, p. 134. -90-time ago, I listened to Strauss, and said to myself - That's something l i k e what I aimed at doing i n The Drums of F. Ned.40 Quoted i n Hogan, p. 135 -91-INVOLVEMENT AND DISTANCE E r i c Bentley makes a su r p r i s i n g d i s t i n c t i o n between "good drama" and "good t h e a t r e " . ^ Without explaining the nature of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , Mr. Bentley accuses O'Casey's plays of being "good theatre" but not "good drama". I t i s impossible to imagine that a serious play could be "good theatre", meaning, presumably, that a l l the stage techniques are e f f e c t i v e l y u t i l i z e d , without being good drama. The drama must by i t s nature e x p l o i t the stage on which i t i s to be presented. The drama i s not s o l e l y a l i t e r a r y genre; i t i s a lso a t h e a t r i c a l form. C e r t a i n l y , O'Casey i n h i s l a s t plays makes the most of the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of the drama. The l a s t plays are f u l l of v i s u a l and sound e f f e c t s , but i t i s not a purposeless use of the stage. O'Casey very c a r e f u l l y uses a l l the t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s i n h i s l a s t plays to gain a two-fold response of o b j e c t i v i t y and involvement. To make his doctrine of s a l v a t i o n apparent, 0'Casey must create objective awareness i n h i s audience. The audience must recognize that a new morality i s needed i n the world by seeing c l e a r l y what i s wrong with man's present s p i r i t u a l s t a t e . The audience must, at the same time, r e a l -i z e what has to be done to a chieve a new morality. The aud-ience cannot become involved with p a r t i c u l a r characters act-ing out a p a r t i c u l a r story. Instead, they must look at the 41 Bentley, p. 110 -92-plays as representing the pattern of man's current s p i r i t -u a l i t y and possible s a l v a t i o n . To convince an audience that the message which they recognize i s worth acting upon, O'Casey must develop a sense of involvement as w e l l as o b j e c t i v i t y . In these l a s t plays, O'Casey attempts to make h i s audience a c t u a l l y take part i n the joy, v i t a l i t y , and c r e a t i v i t y of h i s r e l i g i o n of l i f e . He also forces us to respond with shock and anger when we see beauty and joy destroyed or corrupted. As we s h a l l see, i t i s O'Casey's handling of t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s that arouses our emotional response. To f a c i l i t a t e a de t a i l e d analysis of the stage e f f e c t s , we s h a l l separate them i n t o v i s u a l e f f e c t s and sound e f f e c t s . Although we w i l l note the thematic s i g n i f i c a n c e of the ef-fe c t s , our focus w i l l be on how the effects create audience involvement and o b j e c t i v i t y . B a s i c a l l y , the v i s u a l e f f e c t s distance the audience and create o b j e c t i v i t y , whereas the sound e f f e c t s i n t e n s i f y the emotional response of involve-ment. We have already seen how important, thematically and symbolically, v i s u a l stage e f f e c t s are i n O'Casey's l a s t plays. The se t t i n g s , f o r example, are c a r e f u l l y integrated w ith the play as a whole. The b r i g h t l y coloured, s t y l i z e d s e t t i n g of Cock-A-Doodle Dandy becomes increasingly darker as the forces f o r s p i r i t u a l death gain greater c o n t r o l . The generally r e a l i s t i c settings of The Bishop's Bonfire are -93-dominated by a large ash tree which i s constantly associated with Codger, the one true life-worshipper. Because of the approaching n i g h t f a l l , the tree, seen from the inside of the house, becomes blacker and blacker and, f i n a l l y , i s seemingly enveloped by the reflected flames of the bonfire- The Cod-ger i s more and more harassed and f i n a l l y banished by R e i l i -gan. The setting for Behind the Green Curtains, too, i s basically r e a l i s t i c with just the suggestion of sty l i z a t i o n i n a few dominant images. The mistiness of Scene I is cut by the very clear picture of Parnell, who, O'Casey obviously feels, was destroyed by religious bigotry and fanatical pie-tism. That t h i s same kind of destruction s t i l l occurs i s exemplified i n Scenes II and III, whose r e a l i s t i c settings are controlled by the stylized green curtains. In The Drums of Father Ned, the stylized war setting of the Prerumble governs our attitude to the pompous wealth displayed i n the re a l i s t ic settings of Acts I and I I . And, of course, as the forces of l i f e gain the victory, a new brightly gay s t y l i -zation emerges. In Figuro i n the Night. the settings for the whole play are stylized. Here the stylization under-lines the contrast i n mood of Scenes I and II - bleak des-pair in Scene I and buoyant hope, in Scene I I . O'Casey's use of setting has an additional purpose to that of i t s symbolic, thematic significance. A brightly coloured cleverly stylized setting or even an elaborately detailed r e a l i s t i c setting invariably draws applause from -94-the audience. O'Casey would of course be aware of t h i s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, at the beginning of each of the f i v e plays, there i s a quiet moment, almost a tableau, which would allow f o r t h i s applause. Coming i n the middle of a play, applause can c e r t a i n l y break a mood or destroy tension, but applause at any point i n a play i s a sign of the audi-ence' s recognition that i t i s watching a play. Audience ob-j e c t i v i t y i s established. There cannot be complete involve-ment . For O'Casey's d i d a c t i c morality plays, audience object-i v i t y i s e s s e n t i a l . From the beginning of each play, O'Casey wants h i s audience to be very aware that i t i s watching a play. Thus, he stresses the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of the s e t t i n g s . The s t y l i z e d settings immediately mark Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. The Drums of Father Ned, and Figuro i n the Night v i s u a l l y as f a n t a s i e s . The preposterously large gay-coloured flowers, palm trees that have become strangely b r i l l i a n t blue and yellow, other trees that suddenly sprout many-coloured f r u i t s l i k e shining l i g h t e d globes, a purple sky f i l l e d with vast amazingly coloured s t a r s , c r a z i l y t i l t e d buildings a l l de-l i g h t our fancy much as a c h i l d ' s imagination i s charmed by the wonderful world of the f a i r y t a l e . Adults, of course, seldom can become as t o t a l l y involved i n the f a i r y t a l e as a c h i l d can, and given the events of the plays, t o t a l i n -volvement i s absolutely impossible. I t i s too obviously un-r e a l i s t i c f o r us to be caught up i n the scene. The fantasy -95-s e t t i n g s become v i s u a l d i s t a n c i n g devices. O'Casey uses yet other v i s u a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y i n h i s f i v e l a s t p l ays. L i g h t i n g e f f e c t s are extremely important i n a l l the plays. There i s the misty dream-like l i g h t i n g of Scene I i n Behind the Green Curtains and the Prerumble i n The Drums of Father Ned. There i s the growing darkness of both Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and The Bishop's Bon f i r e . There i s the sudden change between Scenes I and I I o f Figuro i n the Night from "ghostly" darkness to "a f u l l , g r a c e f u l and d e l i g h t f u l glow." During the plays we see sudden f l a s h e s of l i g h t n i n g , p e r i -odic f l a s h e s of g u n f i r e , and sudden unaccountable darknesses. The sudden strangeness o f the l a s t e f f e c t s emphasize the fantasy and s t a r t l e the audience into o b j e c t i v i t y . In much the same way a c t u a l l y seeing the "magic" e f f e c t s on stage increases our o b j e c t i v i t y . We know the "magic" i s the r e -s u l t of stage t r i c k s . Again, we become aware of the play as a play. That O'Casey wanted h i s audiences to be aware of the play as a play i s more than apparent i n h i s frequent use of v a r i a t i o n s of the play w i t h i n a play technique. The most d i r e c t use of the technique occurs i n The Drums of Father Ned - the rehearsal of the T o s t a l Pageant, a reenactment o f the b a t t l e of Wexford. The pageant speeches that we hear demanding p o l i t i c a l l i b e r t y are c e r t a i n l y meant to p a r a l l e l the present s i t u a t i o n , but now i t i s s p i r i t u a l l i b e r t y that must be demanded. Although "the things said be Ireland's -96-old leaders are l i v i n ' s t i l l , and are needed as much today as when they were f i r s t spoken" (p. 32), O'Casey seems to be saying that the political emancipation Ireland gained through her bitter struggles for independence can be l i t t l e more than an amateur play rehearsal until a like spiritual free-dom is gained. The young people are charmingly earnest about the rehearsal, but they are obviously amateurs. We are not caught up in the emotions of the Pageant but instead probably smile at the efforts of the young people. The Daniel-Prodical parody of the Bishop at the begin-ning of Act III of The Bishop's Bonfire i s another fairly obvious use of the play within a play technique. Here, the purpose is largely satiric. The pomp of the Bishop's wel-come is mocked, but so are the people like Daniel who recog-nize the f o l l y of accepting the Bishop's position and yet are afraid to act on their knowledge. Keelin and Codger are silent observers of Daniel's show of bravado. Their re-actions set the audience's response to Daniel and establish the pathos of Keelin's futile love for Daniel. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and Behind the Green Curtains. O'Casey again uses one character as a detached observer and commentator on the action. This detached observer causes the scene of action to become a variation of the play within a play technique. Frequently, the Messenger in Cock-A-Doodle Dandy is quite separate from the action. His amused reaction to Michael and Sailor Mahan's argument, at the beginning of -97-Scene II, about the worth of different prayers intensifies the audience's reaction to the folly of the two men. The Messenger is the silent observer of Father Domineer kil l i n g the Lorry Driver. The Messenger's sadly bitter comment voi-ces the audience's reaction to the scene. Father Domineer {to the others! . Tous a l l saw what happened. I just touched him an' he f e l l . I'd no intention of hurting him - only to administer a rebuke. Sergeant [consolingly] • Sure, we know that, Father - i t was a pure accident. Father Domineer. I murmured an act of con-trition into th' poor man's ear. Messenger [playing very softly] • It would have been far fitther, Father, i f you'd murmured one into your own. At the end of the play, the messenger, who silently watches the departure of Loreleen, sings a soft comment. In Scene I of Behind the Green Curtains. O'Casey uses Beoman as an observer commentator in much the same way as he had used the Messenger. Beoman's strong outburst at Lizzie and Angie's fantastic statements, "PshawJ", "Dummies", "Th' harps an' th' hoboes - a Phil th' Fluther's Ball!", are an extreme version of the audience's reactions. In the same way, Beoman stands apart from the artists and comments on their cowardly wavering, their selfishness, and their lack of any principles. His comments ridicule the artists and keep the audience from feeling pity or concern with the artists' predicament. We are forced to see these characters through Beoman's eyes. - 9 8 -By opening Figuro in the Night with a tableau that has at i t s centre the silhouette of the Young Girl , O'Casey sets up yet another variation of the play within the play. The Young Gi r l i s waiting for her lover. We see her silhouette in the window throughout the scene as the Old Woman and the Old Man elaborate on the merits of their piously sterile lives. The Old Peopie are acting out what will become of the Young Girl i f no lover comes for her. The audience re-sponse to the Old People i s controlled by the awareness of the Young G i r l . O'Casey's manipulation of many of the song and dance scenes in the five plays, too, has much the same effect of the play within a play technique. The scenes make the aud-ience very conscious of watching a performance. We apprec-iate the beauty, the vitality, the colour of the dances a l -most as i f they were separate from the plays. The dances give a unique visual and emotional pleasure that is not dir-ectly caused by characterization, situation, or theme. It is the feeling of spontaneous pleasure that O'Casey uses to suggest the f u l l joy of his religion of l i f e . Thus, the dances distance us from the events of the play, but involve us in an emotional response. Again and again the pleasure of the dance is harshly disrupted by the reassertion of the world of the Domineers and the Burrens with their unnatural comments on the sin and evil the dance represents. We res-pond with indignation to these vicious outbursts because we -99-have seen and shared i n the r e a l a t tractiveness of the dan-ces. The only time t h i s harsh d i s r u p t i o n does not occur i s at the ending of The Drums of Father Ned and Figuro i n the Night• The audience's emotional response to the dance makes the a f f i r m a t i o n of these plays even stronger. The t h e a t r i c a l i t y of O'Casey's l a s t plays i s emphasized by the i n c l u s i o n of a great many varied sound e f f e c t s as w e l l as the multitude of v i s u a l e f f e c t s . Thematically, probably the most important sound e f f e c t i s that of the song. O'Casey's plays have as much emphasis on song as they do on the dance. Just as with the dance, only those who t r u l y worship l i f e can sing w i t h any fervor. Through-out the plays the joyous songs of the life-worshippers are contrasted to the d o l e f u l music of the l i f e - f r i g h t e n e r s . The gloomy tones of the Church's hymn f o r J u l i a contrasts sharply with Robin's l i l t i n g musical accompaniment. Even S a i l o r Mahan's attempt at song i s but a poor cowardly i m i -t a t i o n of r e a l singing. Canon Burren's fatuous r e n d i t i o n of "When I r i s h Eyes Are Smiling", a song O'Casey obviously regards with great disdain, bears no s i m i l a r i t y to singing when compared to Codger's robust joyous outburst of song. This kind of contrast i s more sharply stated i n The Drums of Father Ned, where the chorus of young people can put a l l t h e i r youthful s p i r i t s into the vigorous Tostal hymn. Their attempts at the Church's extraordinary "Oh Mother I I could weep f o r mirth" are r i d i c u l o u s l y humorous. In Behind the -100-Green Curtains, the contrast i s between Noneen's favour-i t e I r i s h f o l k song and the hymns of the f a n a t i c a l marchers sung to the sound of tramping f e e t . Here, with the addit-i o n a l sound of the tramping f e e t , the contrast becomes rather f r i g h t e n i n g . In Figuro i n the Night. O'Casey uses the same song "Oh dear what can the matter be", to i l l u s -t r a t e the contrasting a t t i t u d e s to l i f e . The difference between the Young G i r l ' s singing and the Old Woman's could not be stronger. The thematic si g n i f i c a n c e of the songs i s obvious, but O'Casey puts h i s songs to a d d i t i o n a l uses. Like the dance, music can very q u i c k l y evoke an emotional response i n an audience. For the most part, 0'Casey uses simple, often f a m i l i a r , f o l k melodies i n these plays. Because of these melodies, we can be quite caught up i n the l i l t i n g gaiety of the songs. I t i s easy to imagine many members of an aud ience going home from a good production of any of O'Casey's l a s t plays singing or w h i s t l i n g the gay songs of the show. Again, the music, l i k e the dance, simulates the f e e l i n g of joy of the r e l i g i o n of l i f e . Emotionally, too, the music breaks the f e e l i n g of despair at the ugly viciousness of the forces of e v i l . Thus, even the "dark" plays can ex-press a kind of grim a f f i r m a t i o n . The release from the b r u t a l i t y i s secured by the music. There i s always music present i n spit e of the cr u e l t y of l i f e , and O'Casey em-phasizes t h i s music and the sense of hope that i t stimu-- 1 0 1 -l a t e s i n a l l h i s l a s t plays. Like many a playwright, O'Casey uses music also f o r i t s s t r u c t u r a l value. O'Casey's l a s t plays are f i l l e d with frenzied a c t i v i t y and movement. In order to give these scenes the sharpness and point they must have, i t i s nec-essary to provide moments of quietness f o r the audience to catch i t s breath. The music gives the required moments of quietness. As we have seen, O'Casey develops h i s l a s t plays through d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of presentation. The music serves to l i n k the diverse l e v e l s of presentation i n t o a cohesive whole. From h i s e a r l i e s t plays, O'Casey has made extremely s k i l l f u l use of a great v a r i e t y of sound e f f e c t s to add an i r o n i c commentary to the action on stage. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, the most v i t a l sound e f f e c t i s that of the crowing cock. Through out the play, we see the Cock b r i e f l y only f i v e times, but we hear him crowing l u s t i l y ten times. Be-cause of the crowing h i s presence permeates the play. We f i r s t hear him when Loreleen enters. She and Robin are d i r e c t l y related to the Cock with v i s u a l and sound images. The Cock also crows i n d e r i s i o n at the f a r c i c a l Latinims of Shanaar. Occasionally, he w i l l - p l a y f u l l y crow to f r i g h t e n the f o o l i s h Michael and S a i l o r Mahan. And i n Scenes I and I I he d e f i a n t l y crows i n d i r e c t opposition to Father Dom-ineer, whose c h a r a c t e r i s t i c sound e f f e c t i s an ominous r o l l of thunder. Not only are the characters struggling i n - 1 0 2 -opposition, but so too are the sound e f f e c t s . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i n Scene I I I where Father Domineer gains ascendancy, we do not hear the Cock once, but we hear the thunder three times. In a d d i t i o n to the Cock's crowing, there i s a great c o l l e c -t i o n of other b i r d sounds. During Shanaar's i n c r e d i b l e r e -c i t a l of the si n f u l n e s s of women and sex, we hear "the c a l l of a cuckoo, the mocking laughter of a g i r l , and a young man's sobbing" (p. 1 3 6 ) , and the " 'crek, crek, crek, crek' of a corncrake" (p. 1 3 7 ) . The sounds are a very funny com-mentary on the men's absolute b e l i e f i n a rather l u r i d fan-tasy, and perhaps on our g u l l i b i l i t y , too, f o r we hear the sounds as c l e a r l y as the men do. During Father Domineer»s exorcism of the house, we hear a whole symphony of b i r d sounds - a var i e t y of owls, cackling hens, and cawing crows. A l l that i s d e l i g h t f u l and amusing i n nature i s taking i t s leave of the house. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that the b i r d songs O'Casey so obviously loves are those that are s t r i d e n t , vigorous, and often rather funny. The use of sound e f f e c t s i n Cock-A-Doodle Dandy emphasizes the humour and the fan-tasy of the play, and occasionally just suggests the v i o -lence that i s a l s o present i n the play. The sound ef f e c t s i n The Drums of Father Ned and Figuro i n the Night are used fo r much the same i n t e n s i f y i n g purpose. The Bishop's Bonfire and Behind the Green Curtains p r i -marily use heightened r e a l i s t i c sound ef f e c t s to in t e n s i f y the f e e l i n g of foreboding. The sound e f f e c t s b u i l d up an - 1 0 3 -intense f e e l i n g of r e a l t e r r o r . The sound of the death march heard during the Lizzie-Angela scenes tempers our re-sponse to the f a r c i c a l a n t i c s of these two old t i p p l e r s . I t i s a rather s t a r t l i n g j u x t a p o s i t i o n . Occasionally, when the women a c t u a l l y discuss the music, our laughter i s i n -creased. But as the solemn music continues, i t begins to a f f e c t us much as i t does Angela. "Ugh! That music s t u f f gives me the creeps!" (p. 6). I t i s t h i s response that leads us into the serious part of Scene I . The sound ef-f e c t s of Scene I I b u i l d the sense of fear to the ugly c l i -max of the entrance of Kornavaun's thugs. The sounds are a l l r e l a t e d to people entering Chatastray's s i t t i n g room. The sound i s heard and we see the reaction to i t by those i n the room. Each time a knock or the doorbell i s heard "the a r t i s t s become more nervous and upset. The doorbell i s heard, and becomes in c r e a s i n g l y louder, four times before the entrance of the thugs. The ominous tempo i s increased with the entrance of the thugs f o r the f i n a l a c t i o n of the scene. We hear a scream from Noneen, the bang of a door, the sound of a car s t a r t i n g up and moving away. As Boeman outfaces the thugs and takes Reena safely away, we hear a car a r r i v i n g . The thugs take Chatastray o f f . -They bang the door shut. We hear the turn of a key i n the lock, the sound of the four men descending the steps, and the sound of a car leaving. The ugliness and b r u t a l i t y of the Church's protectors of dec-ency i s described with almost unbearable tension, not v i s u -- 1 0 4 -a l l y but w i t h sound. The e f f e c t i s quite e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c . In Scene I I I the use of sound e f f e c t s i s les s pronounced. The tension has been decreased; we are c e r t a i n of Chatas-t r a y 's c a p i t u l a t i o n . Another e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c technique which O 'Casey e f f e c t -i v e l y u t i l i z e s i n these l a s t plays to r i d i c u l e the conform-i t y and abject submission of h i s l i v i n g dead i s s t y l i z e d speech patterns. The language i t s e l f becomes, quite l i t e r -a l l y , a sound e f f e c t . Complete submission creates mechan-i c a l creatures not human beings. In Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. we hear t h i s mechanical speech just before the t e r r i b l e scene of Loreleen's expulsion. Once humanity i s l o s t , there i s nothing l e f t but v i c i o u s c r u e l t y . Father Domineer fstormily] . Stop where yous are! No hidin*~"from the enemy! Back to h e l l w ith a l l bad books, bad plays, bad p i c t u r e s , and bad thoughts! Cock o' t h ' north, or Cock o' t h ' south, we'11 down derry-doh down him yet. Shoulder to shoul-der, an* step together against t h ' onward rush of paganism! Boldly tread, f i r m each foot, erect each head! One-Eyed Larry Michael -7 [together - very f e e b l y ] . Hurrah! Bellman Sergeant Father Domineer. Fixed i n front be every glance, forward at t h ' word advance! One-Eved Larry Michael B e l l m a n [together - very fe e b l y ) . Hurrah! Sergeant -105-Father Domineer. We know where we're goin' an' we know who's goin' with us. Michael. The minsthrel boy with t h ' dear harp of h i s country, an' Brian O'Lynn. Bellman. Danny Boy an' t h ' man who sthruck O'Hara. One-Eyed Larr y . Not f o r g e t t i n ' Mick McGilligan's daughter, Maryann1 (pp. 211-212). The speeches here have some of the same t e r r i f y i n g e f f e c t as the e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c speeches i n the second act of The S i l v e r T a s s i e . For the most part, however, 0'Casey uses the choral e f f e c t i n h i s l a s t plays as a s a t i r i c weapon. The technique appears i n a l l f i v e plays. There i s the very funny scene of The Bishop's Bonfire i n which P r o d i c a l and Rankin t r y to urge Daniel t o greater e f f o r t s because "the Canon said so". M c G i l l i g a n and Binnington frequently break into comic chorus speech when they discuss business. The a r t i s t s with hands pi o u s l y folded i n a p r a y e r f u l a t t i t u d e describe t h e i r f i r e -side chat with the Bishop i n an e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c chant. Large sections of Figuro i n the Night are done i n the same comic chant. There are many examples of the choric chant i n the f i v e plays and one a d d i t i o n a l quotation w i l l be s u f f i c -i e n t to i l l u s t r a t e the s a t i r i c e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the tech-nique o Horawn. We have had a f i r e s i d e chat with our Bishop, Chatastray, and he very s o f t l y and good-humouredly showed us the e r r o r of w r i t -ing as we d i d . McGeera. He gave us t e a . -106-Bunny Relightedlv] . An' shook us a l l be t h ' hand when we were l e a v i n ' . Reena, Did he say anything about t h ' attack on l i t t l e Noneen or the b a t t e r i n ' given to Mr. Chatastray? Horawn. That's over, an' bygones i s bygones. Mr. Chatastray's keepin' Noneen here was wrong, an' he knows i t now; but doesn't bear any i l l w i l l - do you, Chatastray? Chatastray. Oh, I suppose not. McGeelish. Th' Bishop touched our hearts. McGeera. Yes, an' opened our eyes. Horawn. We know now that we have to be care-f u l not to include a word i n our w r i t i n ' that might arouse any s i n f u l desire. Kornavaun. Domine d i r i g e nos. McGeera. Sex desire i s n ' t easy to c o n t r o l , but i t must be done, or be damned i n H e l l to a l l e t e r n i t y . So says St. Paul. McGeelish. Reading immoral l i t e r a t u r e makes conthrol almost impossible; and our thoughts must ever be on a higher l e v e l . (Behind the Green Curtains, pp. 68-69). The difference between Reena's and Chatastray's short com-ments and those of the others i s obvious. Reena and Chatas-tra y speak n a t u r a l l y . The i n a n i t y of the a r t i s t s ' p o s i t i o n i s made apparent not from the content of t h e i r statements, but from t h e i r costumes, t h e i r prayerful a t t i t u d e , and t h e i r rhythmic chanted r e p e t i t i o n of the Bishop's statement. The s a t i r e i s quite harsh. Most c r i t i c s agree that the language i n an O'Casey play i s magnificent, i f occasionally over-elaborate, i n i t s gorge-ous humour and i t s abundantly r i c h r h e t o r i c . As yet, however, -107-c r i t i c s have not noted how c a r e f u l l y O'Casey has related the language to the t o t a l experience of the play. Language i s one o f O'Casey's impressive t h e a t r i c a l achievements. By ex-amining just two quotations from The Bishop's Bonfire and Figuro i n the Might, we can see how e f f e c t i v e a device the language can be. A large part of O'Casey's r e l i g i o n of l i f e requires an appreciation and enjoyment of the sensuous beau-t i e s of the wo r i d . The atmosphere i s conveyed through lang-uage as w e l l as through v i s u a l e f f e c t s . In The Bishop's Bonfire, most of the Codger's speeches are f u l l of v i v i d sense impressions. Two of Codger's speeches from Act I w i l l show t h i s emphasis. Codger. What are the things that God gives to one man to the things God gives to a l l ? What's the gold on the bishop's mitre to the gold on the gorse? The sheen of h i s sa-t i n shoon t o the f e e l of a petal on the w i l d -est rose? What's a bishop's purple to the purple i n the s i l k y plume of the speary t h i s t l e ? P r o d i c a l . S t i l l an' a l l , the Bishop'11 bring a few golden days to Ballyoonagh. Codger. Ay, golden days of penance an' prayer [Indicating Rankin] f o r God's gaum there; but not for me. Me golden days i s over. [He chants g a i l y and a l i t t l e gloomily]: Ah, them were the golden days with an arm round a waist, When everything shone so shy and gay; When a man had heart to toss the girls as well as time t o toss t h ' hay -Oh, them were t h ' days when l i f e had some-thing f i n e to say! (pp. 28-29). In these two short speeches are contrasted the l i g h t brought -108-by the Church and the bonfire and the l i g h t perceived by Codger's way of l i f e - the destructive l i g h t of e v i l and the envigorating l i g h t of goodness. Throughout the play there are contrasting images of l i g h t developed. Not only do the images i n these speeches appeal t o the eye - gleaming gold, shining rose, purple, the picture of a man tossing hay and g i r l s - but they also appeal strongly to the sense of touch - the f e e l of s a t i n and the petal of a rose, the s i l k i n e s s of the t h i s t l e flower and the barbs of i t s leaves, the f e e l as w e l l as the sight of a man's arm around a g i r l ' s waist. The Codger's speeches are r i c h l y f u l l , yet concise, and these two speeches are by no means unusual examples from the play. O'Casey uses the language to suggest subtly the need f o r sensuous appreciation. O'Casey i s considerably l e s s subtle i n h i s use of lang-uage i n Figuro i n the Night. Much of the humour of the play come s from the audience recognizing i n s t a n t l y the f a n t a s t i c circumlocutions that characters go through to avoid mention-ing anything sexual. At the same time the language of the Old Men, i n speeches s i m i l a r to those of Shanaar, Rankin, and Kornavaun, i s p o s i t i v e l y l a s c i v i o u s . 2nd Old Man. I seen Kathleen Mavoorneen s a i l i n g straight f o r a gossoon of a C i v i c Guard, and he standing gaping at her con-descendin' bodice s l i p p i n g , s l i p p i n g down lower and lower, h i s innocent mouth open, eyes a-poppin', helpless; waiting to be coddled be the s i n ablaze i n her; then she whipt him into her arms, and then I saw them gone, leaving only two red flames t w i s t i n g round one another. (pp. 113-114). -109-Through a s k i l l f u l use of language, O'Casey repeats over and over one of h i s basic themes - thwarting natural desire pro-duces lewd, l u s t f u l , unnatural fantasies that can often be extremely harmful. O'Casey's use of language catches us up i n i t s elusive c o i l s and involves us i n both the humour and the l u r i d d e s c r i p t i o n s . We are never permitted to separate ourselves completely from the events depicted on the stage. Fortunately, however, other of O'Casey's devices distance us from the a c t i o n . O'Casey's t h e a t r i c a l i t y i n these l a s t plays achieves a complex e f f e c t of o b j e c t i v i t y and involvement while sug-gesting that the play i s a metaphor f o r the flowing rhyth-mic movement of l i f e i t s e l f . Each of the plays i s f i l l e d with movement - the f r a n t i c f a r c i c a l a c t i on patterned against the l y r i c a l flow of the dance and completed with suggested s t i l l n e s s of death or the r e j o i c i n g i n new l i f e . We become involved i n an emotional response to the e f f e c t s . Our par-t i c i p a t i o n i n the gaiety and exuberance of the action con-vinces us that the promise contained i n the plays w i l l one day turn into r e a l i t y . Our despair at seeing the joy des-troyed makes us want to t r y to bring about changes. Because of the distancing e f f e c t s , we become aware of our own i n -volvement and emotional responses. We are forced to judge our involvement i n both the good and e v i l aspects of l i f e presented. The r e s u l t i s a very disturbing combination of involvement and o b j e c t i v i t y that i s both deliberate and - 1 1 0 -e f f e c t i v e . For O'Casey's d i d a c t i c purposes i t i s necessary that the audience f e e l uneasy. The message of the plays may then be acted upon. The drama, by i t s very nature, works through the para-dox of c r e a t i n g r e a l i t y w i t h i n an i l l u s i o n . In the sense that the author's v i s i o n i s given form by l i v i n g human beings and the actual objects of r e a l i t y , i t i s perhaps the most r e a l i s t i c of a r t forms. But, because the author and the aud-ience can never escape the l i m i t a t i o n s and a r t i f i c i a l i t y of the stage, drama i s , at the same time, the most formal of the a r t s . I t i s l i f e , but i t i s a r t . The r e a l i t y of the stage world involves us v h i l e the obvious a r t i f i c i a l i t y of the stage distances us. The drama i s an a r t form, but i t i s never a completed art form. Every production before every new audience i s , i n a sense, a new creation. Thus, the drama attempts to evoke the timeless within the moment by recreat-ing the a r t i s t i c v i s i o n i n an immediate l i v i n g form. Drama can be then a complex metaphor f o r the nature of r e a l i t y . For O'Casey true r e a l i t y i s perceived i n the s p i r i t u a l realm of r e l i g i o n . I t i s the r e a l i t y of the r e l i g i o n of l i f e - w o r -ship that O'Casey attempts to reveal through h i s l a s t plays. We have examined O'Casey's, themes i n his l a s t plays, and seen how c a r e f u l l y he has developed his structure and techniques to elaborate the themes. The f i v e plays are not, however, equally successful i n t h i s i n t e g r a t i o n of theme and technique. We have already seen the major weaknesses of -111-Behind the Green Curtains. Although the play has some very powerful and e f f e c t i v e moments, the t o t a l e f f e c t i s uncon-v i n c i n g . I t i s as i f the play were unfinished. Figuro i n the Night i s not as s e r i o u s l y flawed as Behind the Green Curtains. but i t too i s not e n t i r e l y successful. I t i s a play that i s quite without a c t i o n . Samuel Beckett's plays have shown that action i s not a necessary component of an e f f e c t i v e play. The a n t i - a c t i o n play must have, however, great i n t e l l e c t u a l complexity to compensate f o r the lack of ac t i o n . Although Figuro i n the Night has a great deal of humour, charm, and colour, i t has very l i t t l e complexity. Because of t h i s lack of i n t e l l e c t u a l stimulation, audience i n t e r e s t cannot be sustained. The three plays of the t r i l o g y are almost completely successful. O'Casey has put a l l that he loves and much that he hates i n the world into these plays. Technically, Cock-A-Doodle Dandy i s the most p e r f e c t l y worked out of the three plays. But a l l three plays e x h i b i t the greatness that O'Casey's e a r l y plays show. They are t e c h n i c a l l y extremely s k i l l f u l ; there are marvelous characterizations; and most important, there i s emotional i n t e n s i t y . Cock-A-Doodle Dandy. The Bishop's Bonfi re, and The Drums of Father Ned, are f i n e and o r i g i n a l plays that should long be a part of our t h e a t r i -c a l and l i t e r a r y heritage. -112-BIBLIOGRAPHY Armstrong, William Arthur. Experimental Drama. London, 1963. Bentley, E r i c . What i s Theatre. New York, 1956. Cowasjee, Saros. Sean O'Casey: The Man Behind the Plays. London, 1963. DeBaun, Vincent C. "The Road to Expressionism," Modern Drama, IV (1961), 254-259. F a l l o n , G a b r i e l . Sean O'Casey: The Man I Knew. London, 1965. Halvorson, Marvin, ed. Religious Drama. New York, 1959. Hogan, Robert. The Experiments of Sean O'Casey. New York, I960. Huxley, J u l i a n . Rel i g i o n without Revelation. New Y ork, 1957. Krau.se, David. Sean O'Casey: The Man and His Work. London, I960. Langer, Susanne K. Feeling and Form. New York, 1953. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. New York, 1964. O'Casey, Sean. Collected Plays. 4 v o l s . London, 1951-57. The Bishop's Bonfire. London, 1955. The Drums of Father Ned. London, I960. Behind the Green Curtains. London, 1961. I Knock at the Door. London, 1939. Pictures i n the Hallway. London, 1942. Drums Under the Window. London, 1946. I n i s h f a l i e n Fare Thee Well. London, 1949. Rose and Crown. London, 1952. Sunset and Evening Star. London, 1954. The Green Crow. London, 1957. Under a Coloured Cap. London, 1963. i n The New York Times, Oct. 21, 1934, Sec. 10 p. 1. "O'Casey's L i v e l y Credo," i n The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1958, Sec. 2, p. 1. Rossiter, A.P. English Drama from Early Times to the E l i z a -bethans . London, 1950. Speaight, Robert. C h r i s t i a n Theatre. New York, I960. -113-Whitehead, A l f r e d North. R e l i g i o n i n the Making. New York, 1927. Williams, Raymond. Drama from Ibsen to E l i o t . Middlesex, 1964. 

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