Examination Thesis from the year 2002 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2.3, University of Wuppertal, language: English, abstract: Brian Friel is considered one of the most successful contemporary Irish dramatists. His works have achieved international reputation and are staged throughout the world. Even in schools, especially in Ireland, his plays are dealt with. For language and literature teachers, who work with Friel's plays in school, this paper shall serve as a kind of handbook. It is divided into two parts. The first is a theoretical analysis of Friel's plays Philadelphia, here I come, Translations and Making History. It provides the basic theoretical knowledge about the plays that teachers need for professional teaching. The analysis examines Friel's plays on political and historical topics. The plays mentioned all show many similarities concerning these topics and therefore seem very suitable for a detailed literary analysis. The second part of this paper is more practically orientated. It provides classroom teaching ideas for Friel's plays, including many exercises and teaching material. Although a lot has been written on Friel, only a few have looked at his work from a didactical point of view. A journal article by Philip Brady The Scholar in the Hayfield: Brian Friel and the Post-Colonial Classroom (1998) reports about the staging experiences of Translations by a university teacher for Irish literature. Brady mentions the international validity of the political topics in Translations that can be applied to many countries and cultures. Unfortunately the article does not provide teaching ideas and materials. A few teaching materials can be taken from the internet (see II.5., p. 52), but not much has been done here either. This seems to be surprising because the German syllabus as well the Irish syllabus both state that in order to live in this world one needs knowledge about historical, political social and economical coherences. (cf. Richtlinien, 1999, p. XIV) "Language [...] is embedded in history, culture, society, and ultimately personal subjectivity." (English Syllabus Higher Level, 1999, p. 2). The selected plays match the demand of both syllabi because they mainly deal with historical and political topics and illustrate how they affect a whole culture and its individuals. These circumstances show the necessity of a work such as this and it may prove to be something that fills an important gap in Friel studies.
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