The limits of myth and place in J.M. Synge's Deirdre of the sorrows and Brian Friel's Faith Healer.
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Fountain, M. Marianna.
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This thesis considers the limits of myth, nature, and place in J.M. Synge's Deirdre of the Sorrows and Brian Friel's Faith Healer. In Deirdre of the Sorrows, I argue that Synge remythologizes the Irish Deirdre myth in such a way that intends to remove fantastic elements from the tale. As he does so, he replaces the sentimental with characters that attribute enormous power to nature, maintaining the sense of fate inherent in myth while giving characters more agency than in previous versions. Nature is paradoxically both beneficent and indomitable, and Deirdre is empowered by submitting to it. Friel's Faith Healer retells Synge's Deirdre, and his characters struggle with the limits of their implacement even as they perform as artists. Myth, nature, and place all give boundaries that influence Synge and Friel's writing and empower their characters.