Article Title

An American in Ireland: The Representation of the American in Brian Friel's Plays


Maria Germanou


During the colonial and early postcolonial period, Irish theater has been traversed by recurrent binarisms which gradually fade as Ireland moves out of its seclusion to embrace a more intercultural perspective from which to perceive its own identity. The article argues that Friel’s treatment of the Irish/American relationship in his plays (The Freedom of the City, Aristocrats and Give Me Your Answer, Do!) demonstrates the writer’s awareness of the need to transcend absolute boundaries without however losing a sense of origin and belonging. His work can thus be described as postnationalist in its openness to the other and in its renouncement of cultural hierarchy. One, however, should not disregard Friel’s reservations as regards the unconditional acceptance of hybrid identity and the tendencies of assimilation that define the global world.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.