Yeats was very much influenced by the mysterious elegance and beauty of the art of the Japanese Noh Theater. He sought to establish what is referred to as “strange intimacy” in his plays as opposed to the “familiar distance” evoked by contemporary naturalistic productions popular both in England and at the Abbey Theatre at the time. Writing about the theatre, Yeats suggested that

I need a theatre. I believe myself to be a dramatist. I desire to show events and not merely tell of them...two of my best friends were won for me by my plays, and I seem to myself most alive at the moment when a room full of people share the one lofty emotion. –W.B Yeats 1917