Ironies of Art/Tragedies of Life

Essays on Irish Literature

by Liliana Sikorska (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 300 Pages


In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates says that the true poet must be tragic and comic at the same time, and the whole of human life must be felt as a blend of tragedy and comedy. The present collection of essays investigates the presence of comic and tragic elements in Irish literature. The works by Irish authors, be they classical or contemporary, capture the struggles of the lives of individuals and communities in Ireland. Irish literature in various ways deals with the tragic and complex past of the country, as well as an equally interesting present. The irony of the art is always subliminally filled with tragic overtones. Irish literature most commonly presents life’s ironies as inseparably linked with the personal tragedies of the characters. In literature, life is sometimes described, sometimes reflected in a distorted mirror. In reality, just as Plato claims, Irish literature appears as a blend of tragedy and comedy.


ISBN (Softcover)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 300 pp.

Biographical notes

Liliana Sikorska (Volume editor)

The Editor: Liliana Sikorska, professor of English literature and head of the Department of English Literature and Literary Linguistics at the School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznañ, Poland, author of several books and numerous articles on medieval English literature, primarily on drama and medieval mystical culture, visiting scholar at the University of Florida (Gainesville), University of California at Los Angeles, Brown University (Providence), and the American University (Washington, DC).


Title: Ironies of Art/Tragedies of Life