BL. W. B. Yeats

3. ‘The Theatre’. In Ideas of Good and Evil. London: Bullen, 1903.

Reprinted in Essays and Introductions.

Just as Yeats’s use of the climactic dance in his later plays is often attributed to his discovery of the nô but was at work in his drama years before his acquaintance with the form (see 2), this work anticipates by more than a decade other ideas that both Yeats and his commentators link directly to the Japanese theatre, in language strikingly like that he uses in introduction to Certain Noble Plays of Japan (11): ‘We must make a theatre for ourselves and our friends. . . . We have planned the Irish Literary Theatre with this hospitable emotion, and that the right people may find out about us, we hope to act a play or two in the spring of every year; and that the right people may escape the stupefying memory of the theatre of commerce which clings even to them, our plays will be for the most part remote, spiritual, and ideal.’ According to Wade (82) parts of this work had appeared in 1899 and 1900 in †Dome. Reprinted in 50.





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