This is set during the civil war in Ireland in the 20’s, I think O’casey set his play during this time because it was a time relevant to him because he lived in Ireland during this time. O’casey’s life is similar to his characters in this play because like the characters he grew up in the poverty striken part of Ireland, he also had a hard life llike the characters because of ill health and poor eyesight.
Like Mary in the play O’casey had to learn through classic books to get an education because with his eye disease he didn’t go to school. I believe that O’casey has a lot of sympathy and respect for women because he understands the hard life women had because he was raised by his mother after his father died.
The play was set 1922-33 during the Irish civil war, this was a difficult time for women especially Mothers because they had a hard time by being expected to do all the housework and looking after the husbands and because of the civil war, many of their sons or husbands died, fighting. The title ‘Juno and the paycock’ is relevant to the play because Juno is an ancient goddess of the home and hearth like Mrs Boyle and paycock is the Irish pronunciation of peacock this is relevant because like Mr Boyle the peacock likes to boast and show off.
This play is a tragedy with some comedy in it the play in parts is grim and sombre and the comedy serves to highlight the tragedy. At the beginning of the play O’casey gives a detailed description of the tenement that the Bolyes live in, If I were to stage it I would have it like the description, it would be small and cramped Mary and Juno would be chatting about the paper, the lighting would be dim to show that the mood is dull and grim.
The house is a typical example of a tenement in Ireland were Catholic working people lived and who had large families and live in the tenement with many other families but unlike the stereotypical Catholic Family the Boyles only have 2 children this is either due to Mr Boyles lazy, drunken attitude or the large age difference between Mr and Mrs Boyle.
Mr Boyles attitude was similar to most men during the times the play was set because the men expected the women do all the house work while they go out and earn the money but Mr Bolye doesn’t work because he suffers pains in his legs and he depends on his health insurance to get booze. Johnny’s attitude is similar to his fathers but can’t work because he lost his arm and damaged his leg fighting in the civil war.
In the play the women are the only ones working but Juno is the only one who is earning money because Mary is on strike after one of her co-workers, this means that Juno has to support the whole family and it is her job to keep the family together and to stop her husband from going to the pub and spending the money and coming back with Joxer and giving him food, his wasteful and selfish attitude is also apparent when they get promised the ‘inheritance’ because he starts bowering money and spends it on ‘tacky’ items.