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John Millington  Synge
約翰•辛吉
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主要文類:Drama
資料提供者:陳靜慧、黃志軒
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John Millington Synge
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John Millington Synge

     Edmund John Millington Synge is a renowned Irish playwright, poet, prose writer and folklore collector. Born on April 16, 1871, he was raised in a middle-upper family of eight children in County Dunlin. Synge received education in music originally and later decided to devote his energy to literature. Having met William Butler Yeats in 1896, who presumably persuaded him to visit Aran islands, he came to study Irish life there, observing and collecting local experiences fro six summers in a row since then. These observations and records are later put into a book-length journal, The Aran Islands, which in his words is considered his “first serious piece of work.” He co-founded the Abbey Theatre with Yeats, Augusta, Lady Gregory and George William Russell, where his many famous, sometimes controversial plays were performed, including The Shadow of the Glen (1903), Riders to the Sea (1904), and The Playboy of the Western World (1907). He was established as one of the most influential playwrights with the success of these productions. For a very long time Synge suffered from Hodgkin's disease, and eventually died of it before his 38th birthday.

     Synge's plays are seasoned with his attention to the peculiarity of Gaelic culture as well as with his portrayal of Irish peasants. He endeavors to imitate the syntax structure of the western Irish to the effect of achieving stylized realism. However, his representation is not always favored by the contemporary public, who found his plays a slight on Irish womanhood and national identity. When The Playboy of the Western World is performed for the first time at Abbey Theatre, a great portion of the audience felt offended by the immorality associated with Irish peasants and rioted during the third act, causing it to be performed dumbly. On the second night, Yeats had police men to scrutinize the show, arousing public fury to grow even more. Despite this, Synge's works have become the classics in Irish literature for the voice he gave to the rural west.

     Abbey theatre benefits from the style Synge assists in establishing that for at least four decades the theme of Irish country life plays as important a role as it shapes his plays. His legacy continues to influence many of the writers from younger generation, including like, Sean O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Paul Vincent Carroll, Brinsley MacNamara, and Lennox Robinson, who help to carry on Synge's heritage.

 
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Works:

  • In the Shadow of the Glen, 1903
  • Riders to the Sea, 1904
  • The Well of the Saints, 1905
  • The Aran Islands, 1907
  • The Playboy of the Western World, 1907
  • The Tinker's Wedding, 1908
  • Poems and Translations, 1909
  • Deirdre of the Sorrows 1910
  • In Wicklow and West Kerry, 1912
  • Collected Works of John Millington Synge 4 vols., 1962–68
    • Vol. 1: Poems, 1962
    • Vol. 2: Prose, 1966
    • Vols. 3 & 4: Plays, 1968
 
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