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Buffoonery in Irish Drama

Staging Twentieth-Century Post-Colonial Stereotypes

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Kathleen Heininge

Generations of Irish playwrights have tried to assert the reputation of the stage Irish figure as other than comic, but each effort was in its turn assailed as buffoonery. Using post-colonial and performative theory, Buffoonery in Irish Drama demonstrates the ways the Irish struggled to create a sense of identity in a colonial structure, and it explores the distortion and appropriation of that new identity that elicit further calls to eradicate negative stereotypes. Demonstrating the pervasiveness of the reclamation efforts, Buffoonery in Irish Drama covers a wide range of well-known and obscure plays to show the trajectory of twentieth-century drama that brings us into a globalized twenty-first-century Ireland.