Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2hrs


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY1: 2500 WORDS  50%
Semester Assessment ESSAY 2 : 2500 WORDS  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Describe and appraise the main themes and problems of modern Irish literature

2. Interrelate the set texts in terms of tradition, influence and divergence

3. Discuss different links between history, cultural identity and literary texts

4. Comment critically on the material chosen for study

5. Write about the subject in a well-structured and argued manner

6. Engage in coherent oral discussion of the texts and background material

Brief description

Before the Celtic Revival of the early twentieth century re-launched the creative impetus of Irish literature, the political force and ancient tradition of that literature were almost crushed by British imperial domination. This module explores the politics and poetics of the Revival, the cultural ambiguity of Irish Modernism, and the impact of the traumatic political history of modern Ireland on contemporary writing.


1. Introduction: Irish Literature and Politics
2. Imagining Ireland: Yeats (I)
W B Yeats The Wind Among the Reeds
3. Poetry and the Nation: Yeats (II)
W B Yeats The Tower
4. Staging the Irish Revival: Synge
J.M. Synge The Playboy of the Western World
5. Modernism and Exile (I): Joyce
J. Joyce Ulysses (excerpts)
6. Modernism and Exile (II): Beckett
S. Beckett Waiting for Godot
7. Radicalism and Tradition: OCasey
S. O.Casey Juno and the Paycock
8. Modern Ireland and Poetry: Kavanagh and Heaney
P. Kavanagh The Great Hunger; S. Heaney - North
9. Re-imagining Ireland: Friel
B. Friel, Translations
10. Contemporary Irish Writing: Brennan, Meaney
M. Brennan, The Springs of Affection; G. Meaney, Counterpoints


This module is at CQFW Level 6