Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Cathleen Ni Hoolihan & The Words Upon The Windowpane: W.B. Yeats

Here are two plays in prose- and, though neither is a great play, both are dramatically effective- which is more than can be said for most of the plays in verse. You could put them on today and they'd work. It's as if laying aside his poetry hat had freed Yeats up to concentrate on his dramaturgy. Mind you, Yeats without his poetry hat on is barely recognizable as Yeats.  If you'd told me Cathleen was by Synge and The Words Upon The Windowpane by J.B. Priestley I'd have believed you.

Cathleen ni Hoolihan is propaganda. It's tendentious, unsubtle and  hits hard. The Words Upon The Windowpane is a naturalistic play about a seance. Each ends with a line calculated to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
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