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Purple Dust (1940): a Pastoral Frolic

  • John O’Riordan
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Anglo-Irish Literature book series (MSAIL)

Abstract

Properly staged, Purple Dust is one of O’Casey’s most riotous comedies: in the words of Nathan, ‘a ringing, moving melody orchestrated with a resounding slapstick’. The tone throughout is broad farce, but farce not in the naturalistic sense. There is plenty of irony and symbolism, and fantasy like morning dew; but as the drama unfolds, we are confronted not so much with conventional hilarity as with a strongly suggested atmosphere of an allegory, as apocalyptic in its final vision as in the previous The Star Turns Red. (The significance of the subtitle, ‘A Wayward Comedy in Three Acts’, is a portent.)

Keywords

Electric Light Golden Coin Small Stick English Character Royal Theatre 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John O’Riordan 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John O’Riordan

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