Character Analysis Of Riders To The Sea By John Millington Synge

2244 Words9 Pages

Background of the play “Riders to the Sea” is a one-act play written by Irish playwright John Millington Synge. J.M. Synge, after visiting the Aran Islands situated off the Irish coast, found inspiration in the peasant life of rural Ireland. He started making annual trips in the summer and studied the lives of ordinary people and observed their superstitions, culture and folklore. This play was based on his experiences while there. On one of his trips he heard the story of a man whose body was found washed up on the shore on one of the Aran Islands. After hearing that story, he was inspired to write a play and “Riders to the Sea” was written. Considered one of the greatest one-act plays of modern theatre, it combines elements of rural Irish life and its pagan influences with Greek tragedies. He masterfully paints a picture of the sorrows of Irish rural life and the perseverance of the people in the face of their harsh environment. Character Analysis Major characters in this play are Maurya, Cathleen, Nora and Bartley. Men carrying Bartley’s body & women keening ahead of the dead may be seen as rather choral figures at a point of transcendence. Maurya: An old Aran fisher-woman whose name echoes the Greek word Moira, meaning ‘fate’. She is a poor victim of dark fatality as represented by the unrelenting sea. The most important aspect of her characterization is the change in her attitude to life & death after her last son & the last surviving male member of her family,

Open Document