I am not a History teacher but I think it is important that we as English teachers understand Irish history. Cultural context is really important. It helps to deepen our understanding of the contexts of Irish plays and novels that are set in different eras. Learning about he 1916 Rising particularly helps with William Butler Yeats poetry. A theme in his poetry is political issues. Yeats comes up most years on the English Leaving Certificate syllabus. Learning about this topic especially helps with his poem ‘Easter 1916’. This poem portrays his torn emotions at the political situation of Ireland at the time. It is one of themost poweful poems of the 20th century. In ‘Easter, 1916,’ Yeats focused so closely on an unsuccessful struggle in Ireland’s fight for independence, Yeats had timeless and universal things to say about it. Understanding the context of 1916 has helped me greatly to understand the drama ‘The Plough and the Stars’ by Sean O’ Casey. I am currently reading it with my Leaving Cert students. I am looking forward to seeing the play in March in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
I saw this video clip on the internet and it reminded me of some websites that I have used to educate myself about the Easter Rising. This video clip is by Students in Scoil Mhuire secondary school in Trim in Meath and they show off the work they have done on 1916 art and song.
Here are some websites about the Rising.
What was the 1916 Rising?
50 facts about the Easter Rising
This amazing Irish rebel wounded in the Easter Rising is finally getting some recognition
1916 Rising: Personalities and Perspectives
The 1916 Rising- a brief overview
The 1916 walking tour