Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Realism in Conor Mcpherson Dramatic Art, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Pages: 22

Words: 6046

Dissertation - Conclusion

Conor McPherson is a twentieth century Irish playwright best known for his dramatic works shaped by the inclusion of supernatural contexts.  His work reflected the in-yer-face style of playwriting that emerged during the 1990s and were first performed at the University College in Dublin where McPherson was educated (Roche).

In-yer-face theatre refers to a modern wave of British dramatic art of the 1990s or the ‘Nasty 90s’ notable for its provocative uses of obscene language, sexuality, nudity, violence, insanity, and other culturally taboo subject-matter (Sierz).  This ‘new brutalism’ feature of in-yer-face 1990s drama aggressively grabs the audience by the collar, demanding their attention until the message has been delivered (Sierz).

Some prominent playwrights of in-yer-face theatre include Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, and Anthony Neilson in addition to Conor McPherson (Sierz). The works of McPherson and other in-yer-face play writers are considered as ‘macro-realism.’ The genre of realism is generally used when referring to any literary portrayal of life in an accurate manner where false ideals, literary conventions, or aesthetic beautification and glorification of the world is excluded to portray authentic life scenarios (Boyer).

Keeping with this definition, macro-realism takes realism to the extreme by portraying the taboo elements of real life, such as mental illnesses, alternative beliefs or supernatural situations, and many other elements of society (Anderson Sasser 9).  Conor McPherson’s works first received recognition in the late 1990s, so there is not an extensive body of research conducted on the relation of his work to other, better-known playwrights (Roche).

Furthermore, examination of McPherson’s dramatic art from the macro-realist perspective is a new approach to analysis of in-yer-face theatre with only Liz Maynes-Aminzade having the only published works.  The focus of this Doctoral thesis in Drama will examine a challenging yet worthwhile avenue of study in McPherson’s works through his ability to negotiate the subtle yet complex relations between national and global community dynamics within an increasingly universally connected society and these elements make his works particularly relevant to the theatrical community.

As global networks continue to expand through social media, opportunities for new representations of history within space and time emerge (Sinclair). The focus of the intersection between literature as a representation of a nation’s interests in a specific time and place juxtaposed against the various ways in which these works can be represented through global networks (Aldridge).  Whereas globalization encourages a borderless world, literature grows out of historical experiences of a charted world.

Understanding these relative influences inspires the first research question: How do Conor McPherson’s plays represent globalization, similar to industrialization in the nineteenth century, influence contemporary theatre and take theatrical realism innovatively to another level?

This distinction poses the second research question: How do global and local societies coexist in the literary productions of Conor McPherson considering this changing trans-cultural and trans-national world?

Chapter 1: Introduction

This introductory chapter will introduce the theoretical framework that will be used to answer the research questions and examine the background elements of Conor McPherson’s body of work.  The presentation of character perspective is a vital element in a literary work because this element draws the reader into the heart of the story (Clarke).  The method that the writer used to introduce the reader to the characters also influences the first impression the reader creates of each character and influences how the reader perceives the character for the duration of the story (Clarke).

McPherson’s work uses different methods to introduce characters to the reader based on whether the play is written as a one man show or includes parts for several individuals.  The body of work presented in the Theoretical Framework provides a larger and wider perspective that will be used to study and compare information from various perspectives, allowing a broader integration of a macro-realistic perspective.  The background includes the research contexts, which explore the similarities and differences within McPherson’s plays and how the themes are able to appeal to international audiences.

Theoretical Framework

The nature of this thesis work aims to create a broad scope to permit the intended in-depth exploration of vast and complex subject matter.  In the context of a globalized world, “there are wide spread concerns about the media and national culture in regards to the ways that global media inform politics, economics, and social activities within everyday life (Kellner). Conor McPherson’s body of work includes:

  • Rum and Vodka, which debuted in Dublin at the City Arts Centre in 1994
  • The Good Thief which debuted in 1994 produced by the Fly by Night Theatre Company
  • This Lime Tree Bower, which debuted in 1995in Dublin at the Iomha Ildanach and The Crypt Art Centre
  • St Nicholas, which debuted in London at The Bush Theatre in 1997
  • The Weir, which debuted in 1997in London at The Royal Court
  • Dublin Carol, which debuted at The Royal Court in 2000
  • Port Authority, which debuted in 2001 in London at the New Ambassador Theatre/ Dublin, The Gate Theatre
  • Shining City, which debuted at The Royal Court/The Gate Theatre in 2004
  • The Seafarer, which debuted in 2006 in London at The National Theatre
  • The Birds, which debuted at The Gate Theatre in 2009
  • The Veil, which debuted at The National Theatre, 2011 and
  • The Night Alive, which debuted in London at the Donmar Warehouse in 2013(Casey)

Focusing on these works, this research will explore how late Irish drama in local settings offers new ways in which to consider the relationships between human interactions on national and global levels.  Considering recent research on the roles of time, space, and place in the appreciation and interpretation of literary works, this thesis explores the presence of the supernatural in the staging of McPherson’s plays and the roles of Irish settings.

This research will consider how the newly defined theory of macro-realism is shaped by the contemporary understanding of nineteenth century realism, which can helpfully illuminate new aspects of modern drama (Maynes-Aminzade).  Following the global context of macro-realism, this thesis also recognizes the increasing role of universal technology in the production, spread, and reception of literary works in a global context (Maynes-Aminzade).

Drawing from ground-breaking research on ‘macro-realism’ provides this thesis with an understanding of the subtle interconnections in the world beneficial when exploring imaginative connections between readers and viewers in diverse geographic and temporal locations (Maynes-Aminzade).  This provides the research with a theoretical framework for examining McPherson’s perception of other temporal realities as well as the techniques which he employs in order to express these perceptions.

The thesis will also explore how the genre of macro-realism can assume a broader meaning in contemporary English drama by focusing on the works of Irish playwright Conor McPherson. The ability of macro-realism to provide a contemporary understanding of nineteenth century realism currently experiencing a revival or renaissance will be helpful in analyzing the diverse subject matter of the selected works (Maynes-Aminzade).

It is the intention of this thesis to provide a new understanding regarding the contexts of McPherson’s plays that simultaneously accommodates the physical and non-physical existence of the macro-realistic elements on the stage that facilitates the intended perception within the audience (Chambers and Jordan 64).  Timeframes, roving geographies, and varied socio-economic topographies are essential in order to envision a macroscopic view of the interrelations among characters as well as the world created in the literary work (Morash 267).  Such scrutiny will enable the appreciation of the potential for social media and globalization to influence the proliferation, perception, and reception of literary works.

Through his realistic portrayal of events within the context of society, McPherson deftly negotiates and transcends the boundaries between local and global audiences (Heusner Lojeck 40).  This thesis aims to explore how McPherson uses settings familiar to him in order to present personal and social questions of universal significance.  In addition, McPherson makes excellent use of the stereotypes portrayed through the mass media, which has had a dramatic effect on the growth and development of all societies, presenting the need for these effects to be illustrated in the blatant manner of in-yer-face productions (Sierz).

Typically, theatrical elements such as the sound effects in the scene and the use of music to enhance the tableau and keep the audience’s attention will also be examined in a macro-realistic perspective (Murphy 4).  McPherson has used the dramatic element of actors addressing the audience in several of his plays, such as Rum and Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St. Nicholas, Port Authority, and Come on Over to invoke a sense of involvement with the spectator (Chambers and Jordan 43).

In the play The Seafarer, Richard, who is an elderly blind man, a friend named Ivan, and Sharky, Richard’s younger brother, are all heavy drinkers (Chambers and Jordan 39).  In addition to the alcohol abuse, as the story progresses, another character, Mr. Lockhart is introduced and, in an aside that the other characters are not privy to, reacquaints himself with Sharky before revealing: “I want your soul…I’m the son of the morning, Sharky. I’m the snake in the garden. I’ve come here for your soul this Christmas…We made a deal. We played cards for your freedom and you promised me, you promised me, the chance to play you again” (Chambers and Jordan 40).

Many of McPherson’s plays are enacted by male characters engaging in deleterious activities that hurt others since they themselves are wounded.  The importance of how the masculine ego influences actions is presented in the first act of The Weir in the conversation between Brendan and Jack regarding Finbar’s association with the purchaser of Maura Nealon’s house (McPherson(a) 10-11).   Jack feels that the married Finbar is trying to flaunt his association with this single, attractive woman from Dublin in the faces of the single fellows like himself, Brendan, and Jimmy, stating:

“Jack: …He’s only having a little thrill.  Bringing her around.  And I’ll tell you what it is as well. He’s coming in here with her.  And he’s the one…He’s bringing her in.  And there’s you and me, and the Jimmy fella, the muggins’s, the single fellas.  And he’s going, ‘Look at this! There’s obviously something the fuck wrong with yous.  Yous are single and you couldn’t get a woman near this place.  And look at me.  I’m hitched.  I’m over and done with and I’m having to beat them off’” (McPherson(a) 11).

Set in a bar, The Weir also addresses heavy alcohol use, as does The Lime Tree Brower in the monologue where Ray discusses how he drank so much that he forgot who he was and “…puked right there in front of everybody” and Joe discusses how he ignored the discussion he’d had with Frank on Friday, stating: “I thought he was drunk” (McPherson(b) 145,167).

Additionally, Joe deliberately manipulates his way into a friendship with an older boy named Damien because he knows the boy leads a racy lifestyle:

“Joe: He always smoked and he never went home at lunchtime… I started smoking too so I could talk to him at little break behind the religion room… You were supposed to be dying for a pull and about nine blokes would be sharing a fag.  By the time it came around to you it was just a soaking wet filter.  And you had to drag on it like you’d die without it.  But I got to talk to Damien” (McPherson(d) 135)

Joe also talks about his underage alcohol drinking with his friend Damien, stating:

“Joe: It was Damien…He wanted to know if I was going to Shadows.  It was a disco out near the dual carriageway… I told Damien I’d go if he was, but I had no ID  and you had to be eighteen because there was a bar… He asked me if I wanted some cans because… It was a good idea to get pissed before you went in, because pints were £2.50.  I told him I wanted cans.  But I didn’t know how many to get.  I didn’t know how many made you drunk.  I thought I’d aim high and told him to get me ten.  He laughed and told me to stop messing.  But I didn’t know if that meant I should ask for more or less, so I asked how many he was getting.  He said four or five.  I said get me the same.  But then he said, ‘What do you want?’  And I said, ‘Four.’ And he said, ‘Four what?’ and I said, ‘Four cans.’ ‘Of what?’ he said.  I said ‘Carlsberg.’  Advertising works” (McPherson(d) 168-169).

He also discusses the inappropriate relationship his friend Damien has with his mother, including drinking together: Joe: “Damien shouted at his mum not to give him a hard time-she was doing his head in.  She stopped giving out then and gave him a kiss.  He put her hand on her arse and she was looking at me and giggling” (McPherson(d) 141) and “He was quite drunk already… He’d had a bottle of wine with his mum before coming out” (McPherson(d) 170).

Another aspect for consideration within the macro-realistic framework includes domestic issues in The Night Alive, which begins with Tommy leading a battered and bleeding Aimee into his home after she is beaten up by her ex-boyfriend (McPherson(c)).

Similar to this, Rum and Vodka discusses marital issues and unplanned pregnancies in the first scene when the main character explains how he and his wife, Maria, met, married, and are now arguing over money and his late hours:

“…I had too much to drink… I was at this party one night and I ended up half comatose in the back garden.  And this girl, friend of a friend, decides she was going to look after me.  While I got sick in her shoe.  She stayed with me all night.  And I was grateful and I thought I felt something for her, and as the night wore on and everyone went home it was mostly horny… we ended up being intimate.  On a number of occasions that night.  And I ended up seeing her, for, well, whatever reasons after that.  And all the while I was still going out with my girlfriend and this other girl, the party girl, knew I was… I stopped seeing her and decided to be faithful… But then I got the phone call from the party girl.  She was having a baby.  And now she’s my wife… Maria, my wife, and I’ve been fighting a lot recently.  She’s been giving out about the money I’m spending, saving nothing, not coming in ‘til one or two every morning.” (McPherson(d) 112-115)

The purpose of the set designer is to create a physical atmosphere in which the action of the play will occur and the overall visage of the set gives the audience information about the director’s concept of the production as well as the activities occurring on the stage (Leonard).  For instance, in The Weir, the setting of the pub creates an atmosphere of familiar congeniality to account for the personal nature of the story Valerie reveals about the loss of her child and the tattered state of her marriage (McPherson(a) 6).  In Rum and Vodka, McPherson gives detailed descriptions of the streets traversed by ‘Michael’ as he sought his alcohol fix: “…on Grafton Street, down Suffolk Street, across Dame Street and into Temple Bar” to create an atmosphere of familiarity (McPherson(d) 125).

The set should suggest the tone and style of the entire production, construct the mood and atmosphere of the play, provide clues about the temporal setting of the action, and offer the director creative options for the movement and positioning of the actors (Greene 301).  Depending on the impact the director wants to create with the staging and the type of background the production uses, the set design may also have to conceal the backstage areas used by the actors and stage crew from the audience (Durham and Kellner 171).

Exploration of this topic will make an original contribution to the field as it focuses on plays not only as literary texts, but also in relation to other elements of performance such as stage design and lighting.  The concept of macro-realism captures this particular aspect of globalization in fiction and this will be extended for use in drama in an original way. This project explores how the genre of macro-realism can be applied to the interpretation of contemporary English drama, with a focus on the works of Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

Background and Research Context

The remainder of this chapter will consider the background contexts of McPherson’s plays and this will comprise the foundation for the following research.  The status of the Irish play as “a distinct and distinctly marketable phenomenon” has commanded international interest that has enveloped McPherson’s work into the mainstream (Greene 262).

McPherson’s plays are connected through their shared emphasis on macro-realistic occurrences that includes subject matter typically relegated to the occult (Wood 119).  One of his first successful plays was Rum and Vodka, which is centered around the scandalous exploits of a 24-year-old drunk who experiences self-disgust after he has sex with his sleeping wife, which can legally be considered rape and throws a computer from a window so he loses his job (Walsh).  The unnamed protagonist experiences a profound sense of guilt that devolves as he embarks on an extreme alcohol binge and meets a woman named Myfanwy with money and freedom that he thinks will ‘cure’ him of his self-destructive lifestyle tendencies (Walsh).

The next successful play is The Good Thief, which is about a good-hearted thug enforcer from Dublin on a mission for his crime boss Joe Murray that ends in numerous deaths and the nameless criminal saving the lives of two people (Gurewitsch).  Inner conflict causes the felon to countermand the mission he was sent on to save the lives of a woman and her daughter who are both marks out of a sense of guilt from the unexpected carnage (Gurewitsch).

McPherson’s The Weir went from the Royal Court to Brussels, then Toronto, included a period in Dublin, went back to London, and then to Broadway in 1999, demonstrating that The Weir is not really about Ireland (Greene 302).  The definition of a weir is a small boundary as on a dam or river although the play is named after a local feature near Sligo Leitrim where the play is set and is a ‘metaphor for the controlled release of emotion through talk and story-telling among the five characters’, so it is not to be considered as a mere symbol of a developmental stage in Ireland’s progress (Greene 261).

The raw emotion expressed in even the one man plays has propelled McPherson’s works into the global market and underpins their favorable reception by diverse audiences. In his play, The Weir, which opened at the Royal Court, is oriented around the haunted life of a woman who has lost her daughter and has moved to the country for respite (McPherson(a)).

His play, The Veil gives prominence to a haunted Victorian house in Ireland, while The Night Alive centres on the lonely and impoverished life of Tommy (McPherson(c)).  In the case of The Night Alive, the macro-realistic element of poverty is a social factor frequently emphasize by the media, which  tends to dramatize specific social problems for a large segment of the society through readership or in the form of viewers worldwide (McNulty).  Often the ways such social problems are portrayed by the media create further associated social problems that affect the society in a negative manner (Sinclair).

In St Nicholas, which is a monologue that came out in 1997, it is set amongst a society of vampires, and the play Shining City involves the appearance of a dead character through a doorway (McPherson(b)).  McPherson’s The Seafarerpresents the role of Irish history, which comes to the fore in the form of an eighteenth-century Hellfire Club who discovers that the devil is among them (McPherson(c)).

McPherson’s realism partly emerges out of the representation and manipulation of the supernatural in his plays.  To understand the plays in the context of macro-realism imbues them with universal significance and timelessness (Maynes-Aminzade).  In an interview with Maddy Costa in The Guardian (2011), McPherson defines timelessness in these terms: “I wanted to create a play in which time was crashing in on itself, so that what people might think is an echo of the past is, in fact, a premonition of the future.”

This contextual framework shows how The Veil exemplifies such an understanding of timelessness, which he brings back the memory of the economic catastrophe in the 1820s (Csencsitz).  McPherson’s deft handling of personal and social issues makes his plays globally relevant since they are capable of enhancing viewers’ perceptions of contradictions and correlations (Roche).

McPherson’s The Good Thief is a monologue delivered by a paradoxically good-hearted hoodlum that remains nameless and is an enforcer for a criminal enterprise in Dublin who beats people up for a pittance at the behest of his criminal boss, Joe Murray (McPherson(b)).  As the nameless thug recounts the story of how he became embroiled in events that were not orchestrated by him and spiraled out of control with tragic consequences, we are introduced to the assortment of characters that this enforcer encountered (Maley).

Despite the diversity of contextual elements in McPherson’s plays, there are only about two research studies that do not confine their examination to the significance of his plays within the context of Irish history, geography, and culture (Lonergan; Jordan, Dissident dramaturgies: Contemporary Irish theatre).  Stressing the Irishness of his plays has often overshadowed their potential for gaining the interest of audiences from other cultures and lands who are simultaneously privileged as well as driven by the power of technology and spell of globalization, amounting to two specific elements that enable their potential to embrace experiences of others as the experiences of the self  (Chambers and Jordan).

Universal literature “consists of communication by means of written words or symbols when the purpose of communication involves some degree of emotional or esthetic response as well as mere transference of information” (Aldridge).   The research in this thesis will endorse Aldridge’s idea that the cosmopolitan nature of literature and the power of literary criticism can extend the scope of an individual work of literature to all humanity.

Chapter 2: Defining Macro-realism

This chapter defines more specifically the contexts of macro-realism and explains the relevance of the genre to the works of McPherson. The Macro-realism allows us to consider the subtle ways in which McPherson interprets the literary legacy of the Victorian era through drama. The term macro-realism refers to a literary genre that “traces the interconnected lives of distant characters, in effort to provoke audiences to imagine their roles in a global economy” (Personal contact, 2014).  Although a contemporary playwright whose works are deeply embedded in current concerns and settings, McPherson nevertheless draws from a much longer literary tradition of realism that extends back to the nineteenth century.

The context of macro-realism provides a contemporary understanding of the nineteenth century realism that is experiencing a revival or renaissance in the current literature (Anderson Sasser).  A new understanding can simultaneously accommodate the physical and the non-physical existence of the supernatural on the stage and assure a realistic perception within the audience (Brayshaw and Witts).

Timeframes, geographies, and varied socio-economic topographies are thematically essential in order to envision a macroscopic view of the interrelations among characters and of the world created in the literary work.  More specifically, macro-realism is defined as fiction that is set in a recognizable time and place, which features characters that are unaware of how they are connected to one another (Maynes-Aminzade).

In macro-realist works, the characters are unable to perceive or understand how they are influencing one another’s lives, and instead this becomes a privileged perspective given to the viewer (Maynes-Aminzade).  McPherson’s plays offer this outsider perspective regarding the complex emotions that occur within the characters’ minds, achieved by simultaneously dislocating his characters from the time and place of the setting while entrenching them within the setting through action (Casey).

The concept of macro-realism identifies the commonalities humans in any community share in the similar ‘ethical anxiety’ expressed by the Victorians: “Namely, the fear that as the globe becomes more thoroughly interconnected, and as the division of labour becomes increasingly complex, we as individuals often become complicit without even realizing it in ethically dubious enterprises” (Harvard College). Framing the exploration of McPherson’s works through the interpretive perspective of macro-realism allows the broader picture to be addressed by identifying connections which exist between people that do not necessarily have any tangible form.

The term macro-realism was coined to justify a novel understanding of realist fiction that recognises the newly networked world in the way that Victorian authors themselves did by considering how characters can affect one another, often without realising it (Maynes-Aminzade). This interpretation offers new ways to conceptualize how different worlds, identified through different geographical, social, and psychological connotations, can connect with each other.

Two seminal themes in McPherson’s plays allow for the application of macro-realism: first, the interdependence of the characters; and second, changes in the relationship among characters that emerge out of coincidences, similar to miniature representations of the outside world (Hill).  The analysis in this research will suggest that, although his plays are set in Dublin, they address a number of human experiences which cannot be specified to be Irish or English so that they transgress all kinds of borders to become universal (Hill).

Approaching this research from the perspective of universalism as a specific feature of McPherson’s realism allows the works to be examined from a socio-historical perspective so that the integral connections between his works and the socio-economic and political circumstances of Ireland can be illustrated (Grene).  From this perspective, McPherson’s realism also emerges from the non-physical representation of the supernatural, which integrates a notion that would challenge traditional expectations regarding the way supernatural elements function in literature (Anderson Sasser 9).

Conor McPherson’s plays have been studied from various perspectives including:

  • gender sensitivity (Brian Singleton, 2011),
  • changing dynamics (Christopher Austin Hill, 2010),
  • historical significance (Nichol Grene, 2005),
  • theatrical strategies of employing space (Helen Heusner Lojek, 2011),
  • production and performance (Eberhard Bort. Ed. 1996),
  • implementation of new voices (Cassandra Csencsitz, 2008);
  • sociality of monologues (Patrick Maley, 2014);
  • employment of the supernatural (in interviews with the playwright by Noelia Ruiz, 2012, and John Patrick Shanley, 2014), and
  • moral sensitivity (Gerald C. Wood, 2003)

The wide spectrum of studies on McPherson’s works indicates their multidimensional potentials.  This success includes recognizing the potential for digital media to influence the proliferation, perception, and reception of literary works (Hill).  Currently, electronic literature as a literary genre has transpired to augment the number of readers and accelerate access to literary works, triggering comparisons to the rise of the reading public and professional publishing discussed in Ian Watt’s book The Rise of the Novel (1957).

The literary and socio-ideological change towards realism has been marked by an intensified interest of thinkers, writers, and educators (Anderson Sasser 8).  In the literary and historical understanding, realism can be defined as the literary trend dedicated to the reflection of surrounding reality in its most typical manifestations (Danilov). The influences of the industrial revolution showed the connections between the ways that people were obliged to react to the current life changes (Sinclair). Similarly, globalization is described as “a process for which people are responsible, and to which they can and must react” (Lonergan 20).

Conflict theorists insist that people labeled as deviants are typically poor and powerless since the wealthy make the rules (Vissing 120).  People that are affluent can hide their own misdeeds while supporting the enforcement of their rules against individuals that are less fiscally stable, stating: “… visible drug users or ‘nuts, sluts, and perverts’ are more likely to be targeted as deviants, while elites who engage in the same behavior behind closed doors of penthouses are not” (Vissing 122).

Theories based on Marxism objectively analyses the current economics hierarchal social structures based on his depiction of the bourgeoisie and the proletariats, who are able to preserve economic differentiation by perpetuating a cyclical pattern where the poor remain at the mercy of the rich, and this is enforced by the social norms that discourage challenging the status quo (Bader).  Marx’s theory puts into perspective the hierarchal social patterns of economics in his portrayal of the bourgeoisie and the proletariats, which is easily conveyed in plays such as Rum and Vodka where the characters are economically diverse (McPherson(d); Vissing 122).

McPherson’s creation of his dramatic art, away from the traditional multiple-act plays, reflects a global phenomenon. He proves how simplicity, in both content and design, marks global theatre. In his monologue plays, such as Port Authority for example, one character can take the readers or viewers on a foray into different worlds and introduce them to different characters (McPherson(a)).

McPherson’s Interpretation the Legacy of Nineteenth-Century Realism

McPherson’s work has numerous connections to nineteenth-century social contexts (Maley).  The political analysis presented through macro-realistic theory is based on the impression that the design which maintains social order is calculated to encourage competition as well as inequality and challenging such norms is the only way to facilitate change (House).

This section of the chapter explains how these networks are of particular interest and value in the interpretation of the works of McPherson. This section will also analyze McPherson’s work in the context of Mark McGurl’s account of miniaturism, where he explains how the artistic work is looked at not as sociological data, but as an entire community metaphorized as an artist’s observations on life and history is transmuted into art (McGurl).

The discussion of macro-realism will also help to distinguish the relevance of this thesis work in terms of the conceptual approach from the work already conducted by critics such as Eamonn Jordan, Sara Keating, and Clare Wallace. Therefore, this section will review the work of other critics on the realism of McPherson’s work.  The manipulation of the naturalistic aspects in works such as The Weir and how they help the audience create a realistic picture given the details in the characters’ stories can open a way for other McPherson plays to be viewed through a similar critical lens (Jordan).

Additionally, since these facets entailed actions, thoughts, and feelings, they must be held distinct from biological phenomena, but they cannot be help in concert with any province of psychology because they exist apart from individual conscience.   The inclusion of various theoretical social theories, including social facts, to provide a basis for scientific interpretation regarding societal norms is appropriate for the macro-realistic perspective (Durkheim; Maynes-Aminzade).  Through analysis of this comprehensive theory, a macro-realistic comparison of McPherson’s works through the societal view of other contemporary philosophers, such as Nozick, Singer, and Durkheim create a basis for social scientific interpretation (Durkheim; Vissing).

Some theorists argue that society is still experiencing a form of the ‘ethical anxiety’ of the Victorians and this characteristic is developed in McPherson approach by placing his characters in moral and social dilemmas to reflect the anxieties of modern day life (Davis).  Implicitly suggesting subtle interconnections between characters, settings, and places can be remedial.  Drawing on the well-researched global connections in nineteenth century literature, will aid in establishing the ways in which McPherson interprets the realist legacy of the Victorian period (Bayley).

To explore McPherson’s connections with nineteenth century realism, the primary research will examine his work alongside earlier realists, including Henrick Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Anton Chekhov. This will provide a context for discussion of the exposure of contemporary problems in national settings.

However, the importance of McPherson’s contribution to theatre will also be demonstrated by showing how he differs from other contemporary Irish playwrights. Questions such as how McPherson incorporates macro-realist conventions in both his ensemble and monologue plays will be addressed. For instance, in McPherson’s Port Authority, he returns to the monologue format after two ensemble plays, and it features three different men telling their stories (McPherson(a)).  The monologue is used as a literary device alternated among the three characters so that the audience is given the privilege of following the interacting lives of what at first appears to be strangers (Singleton).  This apparent future connection falls under what is called “the Stranger Narrative” which since it used storytelling as a medium in which McPherson comprises the essence of the new structure to demonstrate how there are similarities even in diversity (Singleton).

McPherson successfully accommodates the dichotomy between the local and the global through his original rendition of traditional realism, underlined by the neologism in the macro-realist perspective to explain a new genre of fiction that promotes an understanding of the global networked world by exploring the influence of a character’s action on others, and by revealing the ways in which imagination helps readers from diverse backgrounds connect with one another (Maynes-Aminzade).  ‘macro-realism’ helpfully explains Mcpherson’s conception of realities through his representation of the supernatural (Shanley).

Works Cited

Aldridge, A. Owen. The Universal in Literature. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1983. Print.

Anderson Sasser, Kim. “Magical Realism’s Constructive Capacity.” Magical Realism and Cosmopolitanism: Strategizing Belonging. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 1-41. Print.

Bader, Veit. “Secularism, Post-Structuralism or Beyond? A Response to my Critics.” Krisis: Journal for contemporary philosophy 1 (2008): 42-52.

Bayley, John. “Micro and Macro.” Real Voices on Reading. Ed. Philip Davis. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. Print.

Boyer, Robert. Realism in European Theatre and Drama, 1870-1920: A Bibliography. USA: Greenwood press, 1979. Print.

Brayshaw, Teresa and Noel Witts, The Twentieth Century Performance Reader. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Casey, Philip. “McPherson, Conor.” 2015. Irish Writers Online. Online. 17 June 2015. <http://www.irishwriters-online.com/mcpherson-conor/>.

Chambers, Lilian and Eamonn Jordan, The Theatre of Conor Mcpherson: Right beside the Beyond. Ireland: Carysfort Press, 2012. Print.

Clarke, Richard L. W. “Approaches to interpreting literature.” n.d. <http://www.rlwclarke.net/courses/lits2306/2008-2009/01CApproachestoInterpretingLiterature.pdf>.

Csencsitz, Cassandra. “Conor McPherson lifts the veil: His characters peer through drunkenness (which he’s left behind) and existential dread (which he hasn’t) for glimpses of truth.” American Theatre 10 (2007): 36-39,80-83. Print.

Danilov, A. A. Istoriya Rossii s drevneishih vremen do nashih dnei v voprosah i otvetah. Moscow, Russia: Prospekt, 2011.

Davis, Philip. The Victorians. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi and Douglas M. Kellner, Media and cultural Studies: Key works. Revised. Malden: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2006. Online.

Durkheim, E. “What is a Social Fact?” The Rules of the Sociological Method. Ed. S. Lukes. New York: Free Press, 1982. 50-59. Online.

Greene, Yvette Weaver. “Scenic and costume design for ‘The Kentucky Cycle’.” Thesis in Theatre Arts. Texas Tech University, May 2000. Online.

Grene, Nicholas. The Politics of Irish Drama: Plays in Context from Boucicault to Friel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Gurewitsch, Matthew. “The Devil Went Down to Broadway.” 11 November 2007. The New York Times Company. Online. 16 June 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/theater/11gure.html?_r=0>.

Harvard College. “Harvard Horizons: Liz Maynes-Aminzade, English.” 2015. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Online. 17 June 2015. <http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/harvard_horizons/horizon-scholar-maynes-aminzade.php>.

Heusner Lojeck, Helen. The Spaces of Irish Drama: Stage and Place in Contemporary Plays. USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.

Hill, C. “‘But It Was Changing’ and ‘And Now I Can’t Go Back’: Reflections of a Changing Ireland in the Work of Conor McPherson.” Thesis or Dissertation. 2010. Online. <https://etd-ohiolink-edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu>.

House, J. S. “Social psychology, social science, and economics: Twentieth century progress and problems, twenty-first century prospects.” Social Psychology Quarterly 71.3 (2008): 232-256. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20141839.pdf>.

Jordan, Eamonn. Dissident dramaturgies: Contemporary Irish theatre. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2010. Print.

—. Theatre Stuff: Critical Essays on Contemporary Irish Theatre . Ireland: Carysfort Press, 2009. Print.

Kellner, D. “The media and social problems.” 7 September 2011. Online. 17 June 2015. <http://gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/essays/medsocialproblems.pdf>.

Leonard, Michael. “The scene design for Macbeth.” Student Research and Creative Activity in Theatre and Film. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 21 July 2010. Online. <http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/theaterstudent/14>.

Lonergan, Patrick. Theatre and globalization: Irish drama and the Celtic Tiger Era. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Online.

Maley, Patrick. “The play is set in the theatre: Conor McPherson and the late-modern humanism of the theatrical event.” Irish Studies Review (2014): 207-223. Print.

Maynes-Aminzade, Elizabeth. Macrorealism: Fiction for a Networked World. Doctoral dissertation. Massachusettes: Harvard University, 2013. Online. <http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/harvard_horizons/horizon-scholar-maynes-aminzade.php>.

McGurl, Mark. The Program Era. USA: Harvard University Press, 2009. Print.

McNulty, Charles. “Review: Reaching toward the light in ‘The Night Alive’.” LA Times 2015. Online. <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/theater/la-et-cm-the-night-alive-review-20150213-column.html>.

McPherson(a), Conor. McPherson plays: Two- The Weir, Dublin Carol, Port Authority, Come On Over. London: Nick Hern Books, 2004. Print.

McPherson(b), Conor. Plays: Three- Shining City, The Seafarer, The Birds, The Veil, The Dance of Death. London: Nick Hern, 2013. Print.

McPherson(c), Conor. “The Night Alive (script).” American Theatre 30.10 (2013): 70-84. Print.

McPherson(d), Conor. Plays: One- Rum and Vodka, The Good Theif, This Lime Tree Bower, St. Nicholas. London: Nick Hern Books, 2011. Print.

Morash, Christopher. A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Online. <https://books.google.com/books?id=tBoSJFAnKbMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Chris+Morash%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1haQVfHiDo2sogS72oXYCg&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false>.

Murphy, Patrick. Staging the Impossible/The Fantastic Mode in Modern Drama. USA: Greenwood Press, 1992. Print.

Roche, Anthony. “The State of Play: Irish Theatre in the ‘Nineties.” Irish University Review Special Issue: Literature, Criticism, Theory 27.1 (1997): 205-208. Print.

Shanley, John Patrick. “The Supernaturalism of the Everyday: An interview with Conor Mcpherson.” n.d. Online. 12 June 2015. <http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/issue/featuredstory.cfm?story=6&indexID=38>.

Sierz, Aleks. “Cool Britannia? ‘In-Yer-Face’ Writing in the British Theatre Today.” New Theatre Quarterly 14.56 (2009): 324-333. Print.

Sinclair, J. Advertising, the media and globalization. Canada: Routledge, 2012.

Singleton, Brian. Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre: Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.

Vissing, Y. Introduction to Sociology. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc, 2011.

Walsh, Fintan. “Rum and Vodka.” 7 April 2015. Irish Theatre Magazine. Online. 15 June 2015. <http://www.irishtheatremagazine.ie/Reviews/Current/Rum-and-Vodka>.

Wood, Gerald. Conor McPherson: Imagining Mischief. Ireland: Liffy Press, 2003. Print.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Dissertation - Conclusion Samples & Examples

Warning Perception Research, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Hypothesis development The main hypotheses the author would like to examine the relationship between personal experience and level of knowledge about warning systems, as well [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1156

Dissertation - Conclusion

Challenges in Achieving Technology Objectives, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Abstract Strategic technology plans are crucial in many different fields, such as business and higher education. However, it could be argued that since the goal [...]

Pages: 18

Words: 4820

Dissertation - Conclusion

The Effective, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Statement of Your Research Problem or Area of Inquiry: New theories and practices, in the field of Human Resources, have resulted in extensive studies made [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 231

Dissertation - Conclusion

Problem Statement, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation of 2001 established a set of mandates requiring all public school students to meet minimum scores on standardized [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 338

Dissertation - Conclusion

Community Farm Website Development Project, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

The team has made all its efforts to ensure that the website developed for Wythenshawe farm house does meet the requirement of the community, is [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 132

Dissertation - Conclusion

Customer Satisfaction, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Conclusions and Recommendations Assessing the needs of the customer is a reliable foundation in achieving customer satisfaction which consequently contributes to extensive growth of the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 388

Dissertation - Conclusion

Warning Perception Research, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Hypothesis development The main hypotheses the author would like to examine the relationship between personal experience and level of knowledge about warning systems, as well [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1156

Dissertation - Conclusion

Challenges in Achieving Technology Objectives, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Abstract Strategic technology plans are crucial in many different fields, such as business and higher education. However, it could be argued that since the goal [...]

Pages: 18

Words: 4820

Dissertation - Conclusion

The Effective, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Statement of Your Research Problem or Area of Inquiry: New theories and practices, in the field of Human Resources, have resulted in extensive studies made [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 231

Dissertation - Conclusion

Problem Statement, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation of 2001 established a set of mandates requiring all public school students to meet minimum scores on standardized [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 338

Dissertation - Conclusion

Community Farm Website Development Project, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

The team has made all its efforts to ensure that the website developed for Wythenshawe farm house does meet the requirement of the community, is [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 132

Dissertation - Conclusion

Customer Satisfaction, Dissertation – Conclusion Example

Conclusions and Recommendations Assessing the needs of the customer is a reliable foundation in achieving customer satisfaction which consequently contributes to extensive growth of the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 388

Dissertation - Conclusion

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!