BL. W. B. Yeats

28. The Resurrection. Adelphi, June 1927, pp. 714-29. Revised in Stories of Michael Robartes and His Friends. Dublin. Cuala, 1931.

  Reprinted in Wheels and Butterflies.  

Both versions of Yeats’s dramatisation in prose of three opposing concepts of the nature of Christ, embodied by a Greek (an Egyptian in the Adelphi version), a Hebrew, and a Syrian, retain much of the style of his earlier experiments with a drama indebted to the nô, including a chorus of musicians, mask, intended performance in a drawing room or small theatre with a select audience, minimal stage properties, and an opening and closing marked by the ritual unfolding and folding of a cloth, but the play is further removed from Japanese sources than the ‘plays for dancers’ (12, 14a-b, and 17a), and indebted more to Yeats’s own earlier experiments than to the nô itself. Taylor (226) is perceptive in a note that at the climactic moment, when a masked Christ is revealed to be both god and man and slowly crosses the stage, the effect is as ‘striking and significant’ as a dance, but generally critics have not claimed for the play structural or thematic similarities to the nô. The 1931 version is dedicated to Sato Junzô (see especially 21 and 48k); the work was first performed, in Dublin, in 1934. See also 34, 35b-c, 47a, 48l, 69, 71, 120, 130, 149, 180, and 185. Reprinted in 35.





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