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Juno and the Paycock Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 5

Act One 5

Act Two 6

Act Three 6

Structure and Style 7

Point of View 7

Genre 7

Cultural Context 8

Characters 8

Juno Boyle 8

‘Captain’ Jack Boyle 8

Mary Boyle 9

Johnny Boyle 9

Joxer Daly 9

Mrs. Maisie Madigan 9

Jerry Devine 9

Charles Bentham 9

Themes 10

Poverty 10

Religion 10

Class 10

Family 10

Reality vs. Fantasy 11

Important Quotations Explained 11

1. 11

2. 11

3. 11

4. 12

5. 12

6. 12

7. 13

8. 13

9. 13

10. 14

Sample Answers 15

Religion in Juno and the Paycock 15

Mary’s Relationships vs. Johnny’s Experience of War in Juno and the Paycock 16

Use of Setting in Juno and the Paycock 18

Social Class in Juno and the Paycock 19

Context

Juno and the Paycock is the second of three O’Casey plays in what is known as the “Dublin trilogy,” set in the tumultuous years of 1916-1923. During Easter Week in 1916, Irish nationalists rose against the United Kingdom in an attempt to secede from the union and establish an independent Irish Republic. While the Easter Rising was quickly suppressed, it brought the republican cause to the forefront of Irish politics.

In December 1918, republicans won 73 of 105 seats in the General Election to the British Parliament, and in January 1919 they declared the independence of the Irish Republic. The declaration coincided with the start of a guerrilla war fought between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British government, fought between 1919-1921. The first play of the trilogy, The Shadow of a Gunman, takes place during this war, while the third, The Plough and the Stars, is set at the time of the Easter Rising.

In 1921, the IRA signed a peace treaty with the British government which gave self-government to 16 of 22 Irish counties. The treaty was highly controversial, with die-hard Republicans insisting on the independence of all of Ireland. From 1922-3 a civil war ensued between the Republicans (also known as Diehards or Irregulars) and the Irish Free State f...

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