Dante’s Influence on Seamus Heaney’s Poetry on the Troubles in Northern Ireland: “The Strand at Lough Beg,” “An Afterwards” and “Ugolino”
Keywords:Seamus Heaney, Dante, Troubles, Northern Ireland, hunger
Dante’s Divine Comedy had an enormous influence on Seamus Heaney’s oeuvre, especially from Field Work (1979) onwards. Heaney exploits the great Dantean epic poem to create a framework that allows him to contextualise some of the most painful political and social episodes in Irish history, namely the Great Hunger and the secular clashes between Protestants and Catholics. Heaney pays special attention to the problems originating from the outburst of the atavistic and sectarian violence—euphemistically known as “the Troubles”—between the unionist and nationalist communities in Northern Ireland as from 1969, causing great suffering and wreaking havoc on the Northern Irish population for decades.
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