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The Curse

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To a sister of an enemy of the author's who disapproved of 'The Playboy'

Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
In her guts a galling give her.
Let her live to earn her dinners
In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
And I'm your servant, J. M. Synge.

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The Curse

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  • Synge is the most highly esteemed playwright of the Irish literary renaissance, the movement in which such literary figures as William Butler Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory made their mark at the turn of the twentieth century. Although he died just short of his thirty-eighth birthday and produced a modest number of works, his writings have made an impact on audiences, writers, and Irish culture.

    Born near Dublin on April 16, 1871, Synge was the youngest of five children in an upper-class Protestant family. His father died the following year; the four boys and one girl were raised by their deeply religious mother. Synge attended private schools for four years, beginning at the age of ten, but ill health prevented his regular attendance, and his mother hired a private tutor to instruct him at home. At Trinity College, Dublin, he earned a pass degree in December, 1892. His...

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