BC. Laurence Binyon


16. Ayuli: A Play in Three Acts and an Epilogue. Oxford: Blackwell, 1923.

A verse drama set in ‘a Kingdom of Eastern Asia’, written in 1910-11 but never produced. The epilogue, in which a grieving emperor disguised as a wandering mendicant returns by moonlight to the scene of a murder and is comforted by the victim’s ghost, is more reminiscent of the nô than any drama written in English before Yeats’s experiments of 1916-20. According to Miller (BL185), Binyon and Craig (see D17) were guests in Yeats’s rooms in January of 1910, around the time Binyon would have been at work on the play, and Hatcher (43) notes that an earlier Binyon verse drama, King Horn, which was neither produced nor published, contains scenes that ‘have something of the numinous, otherworldly quality’ of the nô, and so critics interested in Yeats’s knowledge of the form before he came to know of Fenollosa’s manuscripts (see especially BL256) might turn attention to Binyon’s verse drama of the period.





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