Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Justine Van Meter

Second Advisor

Joanna Levin

Third Advisor

Mildred Lewis


This paper examines the representation of Irish storytelling in Conor McPherson’s 1997 play The Weir. Drawing on postcolonial theory as well as the historical context of Ireland during the play’s release, I argue that The Weir is uniquely positioned at the intersection of traditional and modern values. Further, I assert that fairy legend is a tool used by the play’s characters to both understand and escape a fluctuating cultural landscape, and ultimately, a way to articulate their own values. Using textual analysis, I examine the rhetorical choices of the play’s storytellers and compare it with established conventions of Irish fairy legend. More broadly, I argue for storytelling as a way of negotiating values during times of change.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.