Seán O'Casey

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It's my rule never to lose me temper till it would be dethrimental to keep it.

Seán O'Casey (30 March 188018 September 1964); born John Casey, was an Irish playwright and memoirist whose works show his socialist and Irish republican sympathies. His plays include Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars.


  • A man should always be drunk, Minnie, when he talks politics — it's the only way in which to make them important.
  • The whole worl's in a state o' chassis.
    • Captain Boyle in Juno and the Paycock (1924), Act 1, and repeated several times later in the play.
  • Isn't all religions curious? If they weren't you wouldn't get anyone to believe them.
    • Captain Boyle in Juno and the Paycock, Act 2
  • If England has any dignity left in the way of literature, she will forget for ever the pitiful antics of English Literature's performing flea.
    • Of P. G. Wodehouse's wartime broadcasts from Berlin, in a letter to The Daily Telegraph (8 July 1941); published in The Letters of Sean O'Casey: 1910-41 (1975) p. 890
  • Wealth often takes away chances from men as well as poverty. There is none to tell the rich man to go on striving, for a rich man makes the law that hallows and hollows his own life.
    • Rose and Crown (1952) p. 282
  • The Drama's altar isn't on the stage: it is candlesticked and flowered in the box office. There is the gold, though there be no frankincense nor myrrh; and the gospel for the day always The Play will Run for a Year. The Dove of Inspiration, of the desire for inspiration, has flown away from it; and on its roof, now, the commonplace crow caws candidly.
    • Sunset and Evening Star (1954) p. 322
  • Laughter is wine for the soul — laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness. Comedy and tragedy step through life together, arm in arm, all along, out along, down along lea. A laugh is a great natural stimulator, a pushful entry into life; and once we can laugh, we can live. It is the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.
    • The Green Crow (1956) p. 226
  • She dhresses herself to keep him with her, but it's no use — afther a month or two, th'wondher of a woman wears off.
    • Mrs. Grogan, Act 1
  • There's no reason to bring religion into it. I think we ought to have as great a regard for religion as we can, so as to keep it out of as many things as possible.
    • Fluther Good, Act 1
  • I wouldn't be everlasting' cockin' me earth hear every little whisper that was floatin' around me! It's my rule never to lose me temper till it would be dethrimental to keep it.
    • Fluther Good, Act 2

Quotes about O'Casey

  • there is no such thing as a writer untouched by his time. Even the most inner experience is a response to some outside. That response may lead Kafka to explore the dark region beyond human experience or explanation in The Castle or Sean O'Casey to write from a sense of mission Red Roses for Me.
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