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Deirdre of the Sorrows is a three-act play written by Irish playwright John Millington Synge, first performed at the Abbey Theatre by the Irish National Theatre Society in 1910. The play is based on Irish Mythology, in particular the myths concerning Deirdre and Conchobar. The work was unfinished at the author’s death in 1909, but was completed by William Butler Yeats and Synge’s fiancee, Molly Allgood. (Wikipedia)
Art: ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’ by John Duncan
“In the dark, English crucible of seven hundred years of famine, fire and sword, the children of Ireland have been tested to an intensity unknown to the annals of any other people. From the days of the second Henry down to those of the last of the Georges, every device that human ingenuity could encompass or the most diabolical spirit entertain, was brought to bear upon them, not only with a view to insuring their speedy degradation, but with the further design of accomplishing ultimately the utter extinction of their race. Yet notwithstanding that confiscation, exile and death, have been their bitter portion for ages—notwithstanding that their altars, their literature and their flag have been trampled in the dust, beneath the iron heel of the invader, the pure, crimson ore of their nationality and patriotism still flashes and scintillates before the world; while the fierce heart of “Brien of the Cow Tax,” bounding in each and every of them as of yore, yearns for yet another Clontarf, when hoarse with the pent-up vengeance of centuries, they shall burst like unlaired tigers upon their ancient, and implacable enemy, and, with one, long, wild cry, hurl her bloody and broken from their shores forever…”