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 (né John Casey; 30 March 188018 September 1964) was an Irish playwright and memoirist whose works show his socialist and Irish republican sympathies. His best-known works are 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.
    • Letter to The Daily Telegraph, July 8, 1941; published in The Letters of Sean O'Casey: 1910-41 (New York: Macmillan, 1975) p. 890.
    • Of P. G. Wodehouse's wartime broadcasts from Berlin.
  • 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 (New York: Macmillan, 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 (New York: Macmillan, 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 (New York: George Braziller, 1956) p. 226.

The Plough and the Stars (1926)[edit]

  • 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
  • It's my rule never to lose me temper till it would be dethrimental to keep it.
    • Fluther Good, Act 2

External links[edit]

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