|Plough and the Stars, the (1926) [Play]|
by Sean O'Casey
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Tragicomedy set in a Dublin tenement district late in 1915 and early in 1916, before and during the Easter Rebellion, whose participants fight under the banner of Irish independence, the plough and the stars. Peace-loving Nora Clitheroe, a pregnant young bride, tries to prevent her husband Jack from becoming a commandant in the Irish Citizen Army. Their boarders and neighbours include Peter Flynn, an old Irish Patriot; "the Covey," an ineffectual Communist; Fluther Good, an easygoing Catholic; Bessie Burgess, a hymn-singing drunk who is loyal to the Crown; and Rosie Redmond, a tart. Jack leaves to take command of his troops, and Bessie, having surveyed the battle, reports that the city is full of looters. Loyalty to the cause of Irish independence seems to vanish when all the neighbours join in the plundering. Meanwhile, Nora frantically searches for Jack. He returns, only to leave her again to help a dying comrade-in-arms. With much of Dublin in flames, word comes of Jack's heroic death, but Nora, whose mind has given way, cannot be told. The rebels are surrounded, and all who are not fighting are to be herded into churches to prevent further sniping. Nora, having lost her baby, goes mad with anxiety, and while trying to shield her from stray bullets, Bessie Burgess is shot fatally. Nora, unable to move, cries for Jack's help, still unaware of her husband's death.
Original title: The Plough and the Stars
Genre: Drama and Plays→ Irish
This work is a subwork of the following works :
Three Dublin Plays (2000) [Collection]
Author: Sean O'Casey