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Brian Friel

This short, modern play explores the importance of language for communication, alienation, love and imperialism. Set in 1833 in a fictional village in county Donegal, the play follows several English and Irish characters, which meet but often do not understand each other. The story develops around a love triangle, the English Yolland and the Irish Manus, both wooing the Irish woman Máire. She falls in love with Yolland, although they do not speak each other’s language. Heartbroken, Manus plans to attack Yolland, who disappears overnight… 

Translations looks beyond the UK and may serve as a context for a classroom discussion on cultural imperialism, nationalism and colonialism in Irish history. Thus, interdisciplinary teaching projects with Politics and History seem promising.

· / · 1980

Critical edition

Friel, Brian. Translations. Faber, 1981. 114 pp., ISBN 9780571117420

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In favour of this entry

  • Beyond the US and the UK
  • Democratic and political education
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Intercultural perspectives
  • Recommended by a federal state: Rhineland-Palatinate