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Title: Yeats and his Use of Masks for Cuchulain
Authors: Gamboz, Chiara
Keywords: Theatre and masksYeats' use of masks
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Chiara Gamboz, "Yeats and his Use of Masks for Cuchulain", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, IX (2002), pp. 53-70
Series/Report no.: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
IX (2002)
Yeats’s interest in masks was a reaction against the realism which dominated the theatre scene and that he considered a commercial venture, full of compromises, and incomplete.
From the very beginning of his career as a playwright, the poet preferred to take on stage characters based on Irish folklore and on the world of supernatural. In 1910 he started the use of masks to increase the ‘artificial’ element in his work and distance himself from realism.
The masks were linked to the origins of theatre itself, and were seen as a means for creating a new form of theatre in which poetry was taking centre stage again, but was addressed only to a small and chosen audience that deeply cared for and was connected with poetry. Yeats wanted to create a theatre as imaginative as possible, so he borrowed as much as he could from Ireland’s mythical past, made popular at the time because of Ireland’s quest for independence and national identity.
The essay focuses mainly on Yeats’s use of masks for the actors playing Cuchulain and on the author’s own thoughts about masks.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:2002 / 9 Prospero. Rivista di culture anglo-germaniche

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