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Dancing at Lughnasa Criticism

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Brian Friel is one of the leading Irish playwrights of the twentieth century. Friel's works have been praised for their skillful focus on Irish cultural identity. Referring to Friel as a "modern master," and "Ireland's most important contemporary writer," Richard Pine praises the playwright who "has maintained a tradition of Irish literature by addressing local themes which have universal significance." Pine goes on to describe the thematic concerns of Friel's dramatic settings in Ireland:

Friel's Ireland, if it exists at all, is a complexity of loyalties, horrors, hopes, confused time sequences, hostilities of the sacred and the profane, a constant probing of its role as victim, a continual belief in the restoration of a way of living and thinking which was beneficent and provident but which has somehow turned tragic and punitive.

Critics particularly note Friel's use of language as a means of expressing issues of Irish nationalism...

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