The Silver Tassie: A Melange of Dramatic Techniques

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Dr. Sandhya Tripathi


Dramatic criticism of any playwright has almost always taken two divergent directions, one considering plays as literature and the other considering them as theatre. It is true of O'Casey's plays also. Critics of the first direction, notable among whom are T.R. Henn, Raymond Williams, Ronaki Peacock and Moody Prior, have expressed dissatisfaction with O'Casey's achievement as a playwright because his plays are not good literature. On the other hand, theatre critics like John Gassner, George Jean Nathen, Brooks Atkinson and Maxwell Anderson hold O'Casey in high esteem for his remarkable sense of the theatre. When Yeats criticized The Silver Tassie, of course unjustifiably,1 he was of the party of the first group of critics.


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Dr. Sandhya Tripathi. “The Silver Tassie: A Melange of Dramatic Techniques”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 3, no. 2, June 2018, pp. 37-42,


For details of the Controversy see David Krause, "The Playwright's Not for Bluming, "The Virginia Quarterly Review, Vol. 34 (1958), pp. 60-76

See Alan Wade, ed. The Letters of W.B. Yeats (Macmillan, New York, 1954), pp. 740-2.

The Garlanded Horror of War: Reflections on The Silver Tassie," Journal of Irish Literature (May 1978), p. 23

Rose and Crown (Macmillan, New York, 1961), p. 34

Saros Cowasjee has neatly and interestingly described this in his Sean O'Casey: the Making of a Dramalist (Oliver and Boyd Ltd., 1963), p. 111

Quoted Heinz Kosok, O'Casey, The Dramatist (Colin Synthe Ltd., New Jersey, 1985), p. 110

Sean O'Casey and Expressionism," Modem Drama, vol. XIV, Non 1 (May 1971), p. 49

the Experiment of Sean O'Casey," The Dublin Magazine, Vol. 33, Part I (1958), p. 10

Robert Hogan, Sean O'Casey and Other Essays, on Irish Drama (Collin Synthe Ltd., new Jersey, 1983), p. 63; "The second act of The Silver Tassie was ... an abrupt leap into expressionist statement."

Sean O'Casey, Collected Plays, Vol. 2 (Macmillan & Company Ltd. New York, 1959), p. 1

Ibid, p. 6

Ibid, p. 35

Ibid, pp. 40-43

Ibid, pp. 38-40.

Ibid, p. 36

Ibid p. 37

Ibid, pp. 36-37

Ibid, pp. 82-89

Ibid, pp. 94-96.

Ibid, p. 96

Ibid, p. 89