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The Literary Afterlives of Roger Casement, 1899-2016$
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Alison Garden

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621815

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621815.001.0001

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Saint Casement

Saint Casement

The ‘national political trial’, partition and the dramatic troubles of Sir Roger

(p.105) Chapter Four Saint Casement
The Literary Afterlives of Roger Casement, 1899-2016

Alison Garden


This chapter explores Casement’s afterlives in drama, arguing that the intermedial recycling of various aspects of Casement’s life, legacy and politics continue to fascinate dramatists. The first play discussed is George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan (1923) and, reading Shaw’s play alongside copious archival sources, this chapter seeks to assess the extent of the relationship - political, historical and imaginative - between Shaw and Casement. David Rudkin’s radio play, Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin, uses the power of voice and accent to eruditely and creatively stage Casement’s contradictory and evolving sense of identity. Finally, this chapter explicates how Martin McDonagh’s use of Casement in The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001) is glancing but powerful, testifying to the power that Irish history can continue to hold on contemporary politics, even if it is misunderstood and misplaced.

Keywords:   Saint Joan, George Bernard Shaw, Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin, David Rudkin, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh, The Northern Ireland Troubles, Partition in Ireland, Roger Casement’s Trial

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