IJSSH 2011 Vol.1(4): 294-299 ISSN:2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2011.V1.54

John Millington Synge’s Riders to the Sea: a Caribbean Revision

Ingy Aboelazm

Abstract—This study examines Derek Walcott’s revision of John Millington Synge’s Irish play Riders to the Sea into a Caribbean play entitled The Sea at Dauphin. Derek Walcott brought stature and world regard to the Caribbean dramatic theatre. The St. Lucian poet and dramatist, awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, has written around forty plays in verse and prose, employing both native English and French dialects. In addition to writing plays, he also founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop providing inspiration and advice for many other theatrical groups that have sprung up throughout the Caribbean. The effectiveness of Walcott’s The Sea at Dauphin arises from his turning to the setting of St. Lucia and the patois language he has heard spoken since his childhood. Walcott’s Irish teachers at St. Mary’s college drew his attention to the similarity between St. Lucia’s colonial situation and Ireland’s. Thus Walcott has discovered a precedent-setting model in J.M Synge’s Irish play Riders to the Sea, which is an obvious intertext. Finally, this study shows how far Walcott succeeds in altering and creolizing a European text adding his own Caribbean flavor and cultural imprint.

Index Terms—Assimilation, caribbeanization, folk language.

Ingy Aboelazm is with the department of English Language and Literature, the faculty of Letters, Ain Shams University, Egypt (e-mail:engyabulazm@yahoo.com).

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Cite: Ingy Aboelazm, "John Millington Synge’s Riders to the Sea: a Caribbean Revision," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 294-299, 2011.

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