¶ … Riders to the Sea
John Millington Synge's one act play "Riders to the Sea" details the hardships that a family has to go through and the risks and sacrifices that they have made in order to survive. "Riders to the Sea" takes a lot of its inspiration from Synge's personal experiences and observations from living on the Aran Islands in Ireland "for a number of years…with peasant seamen and their families" (J.M. Synge, n.d.). Despite its length, "Riders to the Sea" is able to show "a window in to the life of the people in ancient times: the life of the Aran community is archaic: untouched by modern life, untouched by colonialism" (Notes on Synge's "Riders to the Sea," n.d.). In "Riders to the Sea," Synge provides a commentary on the power that the sea holds over the people that have been isolated because of it -- the sea is both a force that provides for people and also a force that can take away life. Through the play's structure, narrative, and use of irony, Synge is able to show how a family sacrifices everything that they have in order to survive and how despite everything that they have lost, still hang on to their faith.
The structure of "Riders to the Sea" is unique in two aspects. One of the ways that it is unique is that is able to embody many elements of a tragedy and a second aspect in which it is unique is...
The play adheres to Aristotle's beliefs that tragedy should have unity of place, unity of time, and unity of action. In the play, all the events take place in a single location and what is more, the play focuses on a single family and the women that are left behind by the sea's cruelty. Secondly, all the events take place during the course of a single day; by the end of the play, Maurya is informed that Bartley, her last surviving son, had been killed on the journey that he embarked upon earlier in the day. Lastly, unity of action is maintained by Synge focusing on a single family and the events that occur during the course of the day, specifically how the sea has impacted their family and how it has deprived Maurya of her sons (Chapter 14; Synge, 1902).
One of the most interesting aspects of the play is how tragedy and social commentary is intertwined. At the end of the play, Maurya has lost all the male members of her family to the sea. These men had no other option than to risk their lives for the benefit of the family because the livelihood of their family depended on the males' ability to travel. For instance, Maurya's last remaining son, Bartley, is on his way to Connemara to sell a horse in order to get money to help his family survive. Despite knowing the risk, Bartley's determination to go to sell the horse highlights Synge's commentary on the social issues of poverty. Furthermore, religion plays a major role in the decisions that are made by Maurya and her sons. For example, upon Bartley's departure, Maurya exclaims, "He's gone now, God spare us, and we'll not see him again. He's gone now, and when the black night is falling I'll have no son left me in the world" (Synge, 1902). Additionally, despite the fact that Maurya is stripped of all her sons -- Shawn,…
Riders to the Sea John Millington Synge's poetic drama and one-act play Riders to the Sea is an understated look at a family's relationship with the sea, at a time when it provided both the sustenance and eventual death for a substantial number of men. The play uses the familiar trope of the wife and mother worried about her male family members dying at sea, but it complicates this trope by
Synge's Riders To The Sea Analysis of structure, narrative, and irony in Synge's "Riders to the Sea" John Millington Synge is considered to be one of Irish literature's most influential writers. Born near Dublin in 1871, he was highly interested in studying music before turning his attentions to literature. In 1898, Synge made his first visit to the Aran Islands, which he continued to visit at various intervals for the next four
Riders to the Sea The one act play Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge is a recognized classic, often utilized as an expression of the iconic place and time of its setting, early 18th century Aran Isles. Synge himself writes about his visit to the Aran isles, which became the inspiration for many of his dramatic works, that the struggle between man and the sea, The maternal feeling is so
Pygmalion Effect and the Strong Women Who Prove it Wrong Make this fair statue mine…Give me the likeness of my iv'ry maid (Ovid). In Metamorphoses X, Ovid's Pygmalion prays that his idealized statue will become real. Strong female characters were a threat to Victorian sensibilities. Like the Pygmalion character in Ovid's Metamorphoses X, males in the Victorian age created ivory-like stereotypes of the ideal woman. In late nineteenth and in early