J. M. Synge

J. M. Synge

The Irish dramatic movement produced a number of sentimental quasi realistic plays of modern Irish life. But it also produced besides Yeats the plays of John Millington Synge who wrote "Riders to the Sea" "The Play boy  of the Western World" and "Deirdre of the Sorrows".
Synge turned to the speech and imagination of Irish country people to restore vitality to English drama. He says that on the stage one must have reality and joy and so the intellectual modern drama has failed and people have grown sick of the false joy of the musical comedy.

Synge deplored the debilitating of urban speech and sought a vocabulary both poetic and real. His own plays are not always successful in achieving this combination through the playboy success triumphantly as a comedy which is also a profound criticism of life. Riders to the Sea presents an elegiac situation redeemed from false pathes by the elemental dignity achieved by the language. Deirdre of the Sorrows is an experiment in a new kind of tragedy.

Synge's poetic prose based on the speech rhythm of the Irish peasantry provided him with some of the resources of poetic drama. Synge was a founder member of Abbey Theatre and a stalwart of Celtic Movement. As an native Irish he turn attention to the revival of old Irish speech and culture. But on the whole he used it to replenish British drama when it was sagging and became stagnant. 

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