Public Lecture: “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism: The Road to 1916”

The UCD/Abbey Theatre Shakespeare Lectures bring together practitioners, academics and audiences in an ongoing conversation about how, when and why Shakespeare matters in Ireland.

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Public lecture from Prof. Andrew Murphy (St Andrews) and Owen Roe (Dublin): “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism: The Road to 1916”

11 May 2016 – 19:00

It has long been known that Patrick Pearse — in common with many of the other leaders of the 1916 Rising — had a great love of Shakespeare. Less well known, perhaps, is the fact that an enthusiasm for the playwright’s work was of long-standing within the Irish nationalist movement, stretching back over many decades. This talk will map out the connections between Shakespeare and Irish radicalism from the period of the United Irish movement onwards. The talk serves to complement the Shakespeare exhibition being mounted by the Pearse Museum.

Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park was where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16. Set in nearly fifty acres of beautiful parkland, the museum tells the story of Patrick Pearse and his brother William, both of whom were executed for their part in the 1916 Rising.

Professor Andrew Murphy, of the University of St Andrews, is a highly-regarded and prolific scholar of Shakespeare studies, Irish studies, cultural history and the history of the book. Among the many books and essays he has written are Shakespeare for the People: Working-class Readers, 1800-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Shakespeare and Scotland (Manchester University Press, 2005), Shakespeare in Print (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and ‘But the Irish Sea Betwixt Us’: Ireland, Colonialism and Renaissance Literature (University Press of Kentucky, 1999), and Seamus Heaney (Northcote House, 2000). He was recently awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to further his research on literacy and Irish cultural nationalism in the National Library of Ireland, and was a visiting fellow at the Long Room Hub, TCD.

***The actor Owen Roe (who played King Lear at the Abbey Theatre in 2013) will also contribute to Prof. Murphy’s talk.


For the listing of all 4 events in the UCD/AbbeyTheatre 2016 Lecture series – click here.


Part of the Shakespeare Lives Across the Island programme of events commemorating 400 years since the death of Shakespeare.


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