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Molly Bloom
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Molly Bloom
Joyce’s Voice of Love
Episode 27 of The Irish Identity

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36 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Roots of Irish Identity - Celts to Monks
The Irish Renaissance in the early 20th century was a remarkable period for arts, literature, and culture--and it sprang out of the legendary history of the nation. To help us…
Episode 2 Gaelic Ireland’s Fall - Vikings to Cromwell
It is impossible to understand Irish history without reflecting on its relationship with the English. Here, go back to the 1100s, when Ireland lacked a central king, and witness the…
Episode 3 The Penal Laws and Protestant Ascendancy
Continue your study of the Irish political context with an examination of the rise of William of Orange, who restored Protestantism to England and enacted severe penal codes that oppressed…
Episode 4 Ireland at the Turn of the 19th Century
Follow Irish history through the age of rebellions sweeping across Europe and America, and find out how figures such as Wolfe Tone founded the quest for Irish republicanism. Delve into…
Episode 5 Daniel O’Connell and the Great Famine
One of the most famous people in Ireland's struggle for independence is Daniel O'Connell, a 19th-century politician who led the charge for Catholic emancipation as well as the effort to…
Episode 6 The Celtic Revival
The political tensions of the 19th century--from the Great Famine to Charles Stewart Parnell's attempts to pass a Home Rule Bill--set the stage for the Celtic Revival. As you will…
Episode 7 Shaw and Wilde - Irish Wit, London Stage
Irish playwrights faced a conundrum in the 19th century: they could write in Irish and remain relatively obscure, or they could find success by adopting English, the language of the…
Episode 8 W. B. Yeats and the Irish Renaissance
If one person is at the heart of the Irish Revival, it is the great poet W. B. Yeats. In this first lecture about the bard, Professor Conner introduces you…
Episode 9 Yeats in the 1890s
Continue your study of Yeats, who became fascinated with the occult and sought the society of fellow searchers. After reviewing the mystical aspect of his poetry and his view of…
Episode 10 Lady Gregory - The Woman behind the Revival
Lady Gregory was one of the most important figures of the Irish Revival, and she had an astonishing impact on the movement. Born into the Protestant landowner class and widowed…
Episode 11 J. M. Synge and the Aran Islands
The Aran Islands lie on the western edge of Ireland and remain an isolated folk community. There, the playwright J. M. Synge found a fleeting sense of beauty and wonder,…
Episode 12 James Joyce - Emerging Genius of Dublin
James Joyce is perhaps the towering figure of both Modernism and 20th-century Irish literature. This first lecture on Joyce places him in the context of turn-of-the-century Dublin and his role…
Episode 13 Joyce’s Dubliners - Anatomy of a City
Take a detailed look at Joyce's short stories "Araby, "Ivy Day in the Committee Room," and "The Dead," each of which reveals the dreariness and what Joyce perceived as the…
Episode 14 The Abbey Theatre
Lady Gregory, Yeats, and others recognized the need for a national Irish theater. Witness the founding of this great project in 1897, and meet some of the Abbey Theatre's early…
Episode 15 Lady Gregory as the People’s Playwright
Although perhaps not as famous as Yeats and Synge, Lady Gregory was one of the era's finest playwrights. By analyzing her plays The Rising of the Moon, The Gaol Gate,…
Episode 16 Early Plays of J. M. Synge
Revisit Synge and examine his role as a dramatist, which developed quickly after his experiences with the Aran Islands. Through studies of In the Shadow of the Glen and Riders…
Episode 17 Synge’s Playboy of the Western World
The Playboy of the Western World is now regarded as a classic of Modernism and one of Ireland's defining plays, but when it premiered in 1907, it shocked Dublin and…
Episode 18 The Dublin Lockout and World War I
Shift your attention back to the political sphere where, after the defeat of Parnell's Home Rule Bill, rebellious organizers began pushing for reforms of their own. Dig into the events…
Episode 19 The 1916 Easter Rising
The Easter Rising is perhaps the definitive moment that led to Ireland as it exists today--but the event itself was something of a debacle. Professor Conner walks you through the…
Episode 20 Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist
In this first of two lectures about Joyce's first novel, encounter the ways that Parnell, the Home Rule movement, the Catholic Church, and other themes from the era's history are…
Episode 21 Joyce’s Portrait as Modernist Narrative
In this second lecture on Portrait, consider how the English language presents a great tension for Irish writers, and see how Joyce's solution was to conquer the language of the…
Episode 22 Yeats as the Great 20th-Century Poet
While Joyce was sending his fictional hero off to become a great artist, Ireland's great real-life poetic hero Yeats was making his own transition from a mystic and romantic dreamer…
Episode 23 Michael Collins and the War of Independence
The years after the Easter Rising saw a dramatic fight for a free nation. Michael Collins led a guerilla war against the forces of British rule, which finally created a…
Episode 24 The Irish Civil War
After the controversial free-state treaty at the end of 1921, the country split into civil war, with republicans viewing the treaty as selling out their ideals. Trace the events of…
Episode 25 Ulysses: A Greek Epic in an Irish World
From 1914 to 1921, while Ireland faced revolution at home, James Joyce was abroad, slowly laboring on his great masterpiece, Ulysses. In this first of three lectures about this famous…
Episode 26 Three Episodes from Ulysses
Unpack the complexity of Ulysses by looking at three of its episodes: "Hades" (episode 6), "Nausicaa" (episode 13), and "Circe" (episode 15)--three of the most moving and compelling chapters in…
Episode 27 Molly Bloom - Joyce’s Voice of Love
Round out your study of Ulysses with a look at Molly Bloom, who gets the last word in the novel and recasts the day presented in the preceding 17 chapters.…
Episode 28 Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy
As one of the true geniuses of Irish drama, Sean O'Casey is a master of the tragicomedy, bringing Ireland's working class to life. Here, you'll study three of his plays…
Episode 29 Life and Legacy of Lady Gregory
Very few great artists were also great characters, but Lady Gregory was certainly outstanding on both counts. Reflect on her life and the tension she faced between her status among…
Episode 30 Yeats - The Tower Poems and Beyond
In his later years, Yeats created an enigmatic spiritual system, and his poetry continued to evolve. Take a tour of his later writing, including two books that became some of…
Episode 31 Blasket Island Storytellers
Journey to the rural southwest corner of Ireland, where the Blasket Islands lie on the edge of the wide Atlantic. There, a series of writers flourished in parallel with the…
Episode 32 Finnegans Wake - Joyce’s Final Epic
Dive headfirst into the complex, confusing, circular dream world of Finnegans Wake, Joyce's final book. Professor Conner gives you a way into the work--which ostensibly tells the dream of a…
Episode 33 Patrick Kavanagh - After the Renaissance
The Irish Renaissance had largely succeeded in bringing folk life to the center of cultural consciousness by the 1930s. At that time, the poet Patrick Kavanagh--hailing from the rural farmland--emerged…
Episode 34 Modern Ireland in Paint and Glass
By the time of the Irish Revival, Dublin had become a city of growing artistic merit, with a national gallery, famed Georgian architecture, and a burgeoning crop of visual artists.…
Episode 35 De Valera’s Ireland - The 1930s
The 1930s were in many ways an era of disappointment, when the heady triumph of freedom met the mundane realities of self-governance. Trace the key events of this decade, including…
Episode 36 Seamus Heaney’s Poetry of Remembrance
The work of Seamus Heaney, undoubtedly Ireland's best poet from the second half of the 20th century, provides a fitting end to this course. Born on a farm in 1939,…

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