Top 30 Quotes of Riders To The Sea - Explanation & Analysis

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1.

She’s lying down, God helps her, and may be sleeping if she’s able.
(Nora comes in softly, and takes a bundle from under her shawl).
What is it you have? The young priest is after bringing them. It’s a shirt and a plain stocking was got off a drowned man in Donegal.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Cathleen, the elder daughter of Maurya to Nora, her younger sister in J. M. Synge’s one Act play, Riders to the Sea. Nora is looking for her mother but Cathleen tells her that she is trying to sleep and should not be disturbed by anyone.

Explanation

      After preparing a cake, Cathleen is spinning at the wheel, when she is disturbed by her younger sister, Nora, a girl of twenty, who is looking with searching eyes. She wants to know where her mother was? Cathleen informs her that she is trying to sleep, if it comes to her anyway because she has remained disturbed for whole night praying for the safety of his son. Nora thinks it to be an appropriate time for taking out the bundle, which she had kept under her shawl. Cathleen is eager to know what it contains. Then Nora tells her that this is the bundle containing clothes and stockings given by the young priest. These articles are removed of a drowned man in Donegal supposing it to be Michael’s.

Critical Comments

      These lines convey us how much Cathleen is attached to her mother. She is worried about her health, which may fall due to a long period of unrest. We can also be aware of the dark atmosphere of the house where the mother keeps awake for the whole night praying sea to remain calm when his son is sailing. Nora appears on the stage, taking a bundle under her shawl creates a suspense in the minds of audience. Nora replies that the articles were got off a dead man, again predict some misfortune for the house.

2.

The young priest says he’s known the like of it. If it’s Michael’s they are says he, ‘you can tell herself he’s got a clean burial by the grace of God; and if they are not his let no one say, a word about them, for she’ll be getting her death,’ says he, with crying and lamenting.’

Reference to the context

      Is play ‘Riders to the Sea’ written by Synge Nora tells Cathleen that the bundle contains a shirt and a plain stocking taken off the body of a drowned man in Donegal. Now, the young priest wants to confirm if they belong to Michael.

Explanation

      Cathleen is surprised on being told that the clothes were got off a drowned man by the young priest. Nora clarifies her that they are to investigate whether the articles belong to Michael or not. Cathleen is doubtful because the body from which they were recovered was found at a long distance. Nora tells her that the young priest is somewhat sure about and what he wants is only to identify the clothes and if the articles prove his death, then Maurya should be consoled that the dead body of Michael got a nice burial. If the clothes do not belong to him, then it is better to remain quiet on this topic so as not to disturb her became, she will die of crying and lamenting.

Critical Comments

      These lines give us the idea of the helplessness of the Islanders who and do not complain their sufferings. It seems’ as if the drowning of young men is general there and the family members of the victim can do nothing except crying and lament and finally being satisfied on the idea that the dead bodies are recovered and got a decent burial. So, this is the tragedy of human beings.

3.

'I won’t stop him,’ says he; ‘but let you not be afraid.’ Herself does be saying prayers half through the night, and the Almighty God won’t leave her destitute, says, he, ‘with no son living.’

Reference to the Context

      Two young girls, Nora and Cathleen are engaged in conversation in the absence of their mother. Cathleen asks Nora if the young priest would stop Bartley the last surviving son of Maurya, from going to the Galway fair in order to sell his horses. Nora gives her the reason for not stopping him as war told by the priest.

Explanation

      Nora, who believes the every word spoken by the young priest, has no other alternative. When Cathleen is anxious on his brother’s decision to visit the fair at any cost she has some hope if the young priest would try to resist him. So, that is what she wants to know from Nora, who has disappointing information for her sister, For the young priest has declined to interfere in this matter. She gives her solace by uttering the words spoken by Priest that God Almighty will certainly save Bartley’s life because He is very kind and loving, who can not do injustice by bereaving her of her last son when she is praying till almost midnight.

Critical Comments

      The young priest is quite optimistic that Bartley would not die, as he is the last surviving son of a pious lady. These lines give us the view of the young priest’s faith on the ways of God. Synge is self-contradictory as the drowning of Bartley in the end not only touches the height of the tragedy but also the faith of the audience is hurt to some extent.

4.

He won’t go this day with the wind rising from the south and west. He won’t go this day, for the young priest will stop him surely.

Reference to the Context

      The lines are addressed by Maurya to Nora who is harassed on the Bartley’s determination to go, when the sea is not calm, declaring some ill luck for them.

Explanation

      Maurya is informed about the decision taken up by Bartley to visit the fair this day. She is suspicious about the mood of the sea as is evident by the strong winds rising from the south and west. She is confident that if she could not change his mind it is the young priest who can manage it as Bartley will not ignore him.

Critical Comments

      These lines convey us that Maurya being a mother, is right in fearing from the misfortune which is yet to come. She is an old woman who has lost her five sons and the last son following the same path would give her distress naturally. So, she makes herself relieved that the young priest will help her by stopping him. Priest would have stopped Bartley, may be the things were better. But on the same, we can not alter the ways of God, the fortune. “He would go” these lines suggest us that death is inevitable and a man himself selects the path which leads him towards death.

5.

It will be wanting in this place I’m telling you if Michael is washed’ up, tomorrow morning or the next morning, or any morning in the week; for it’s a deep grave we’ll make him, by the grace of God.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Maurya to his only son, Bartley in J.M. Synge’s one-Act play, Riders to the Sea. Bartley is making arrangements of the things, which will be needed during his journey. Maurya is perplexed and makes excuses to stop him anyway.

Explanation

      Bartley asks his sister for a bit of rope which was bought in Connemara and Nora provides him with it. Maurya requests him to let the rope remain in this place for she feels that the dead body of Michael will be washed ashore in a day or two and the rope will be needed for lowering the coffin into the deep grave.

Critical Comments

      Bartley has planned to go Galway fair even if there is a storm in the sea. This gives a mental agony to the mother and she chooses different s ways to stop him, fair or foul. So tells him to leave the rope in this as it will be wanting here. Actually, she can have other ropes from the town but it is only a try to save him from the callous sea.

6.

If it was a hundred horses, or a thousand horses you had:
itself, what is the price of a thousand horses against a son.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Maurya to her son Bartley when he justify his journey by telling her that he would make a good profit by selling the horses. So Maurya tries to convince him that life is much valuable than wealth.

Explanation

      Bartley gives the economic purpose of his journey by telling that the Galway fair would bring great wealth to them, if he could sell the horses there. Maurya, on the other hand thinks from the point of view of a wretched mother being left with only son to look after her and the family. She says that a son can not be compared with money and the price of a thousand horses cannot beat the value of a son.

Critical Comments

      These lines spoken by Maurya express her distress over the gratitude of the son, who is her last hope, the only male member of the family. An old woman who has seen the five dead bodies of her young sons, can better estimate the value of the last surviving son. Nothing is much valuable than life of that son.

7.

It’s hard set we’ll be surely the day you’ re drowned with the rest. What way will live and the girls with me, and I an old women looking for the grave.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Maurya to her son Bartley in J.M. Synge’s one Act play Riders to the Sea. Maurya advises Bartley not to sail when the sea is stormy. She would not permit him to risk his life only for money and urges him to stay with them.

Explanation

      Bartley does not heed her mother’s warning and is sure of his destination which is not far to reach. Whereas Maurya is worried about the future of the girls with her after the drowning of the last man in the house. How will they manage when there is not a single male to give them strength in despair. She an old woman, is on the verge of the death can not bear the burden of the girls.

Critical Comments

      Maurya’s words in this speech heighten and intensify the tragic effect. She utters these words to make him feel his responsibility, towards the family, deprived of all the male members except one i.e. Bartley himself. By doing so not only she will save the life of his son but the girl’s future will be secure too. Maurya has lost seven men folk of her family.

8.

I’ll have half an hour to go down, and you’ll see me coming again in two days, orun three days, or maybe in four days, if the wind is bad.

Reference to the Context

      These words are pronounced by Bartley, saying goodbye to her sisters. He comforts them by saying that he will be expected here within four days, if God helps him.

Explanation

      Nora and Cathleen are also anxious what Bartley has decided. But watching Maurya’s plight they do not resist him so as not to make the situation worse. Instead, they speak in favor of him. But Bartley reads their face impressions and convinces them that he will come back in three days or maybe four if the climate is bad.

Critical Comments

      These lines reflect the limitations of human beings where everything is pre-planned but man is quite unaware of these ways of Gods. Bartley promises them to return but never comes back.

9.

It’s the life of a young man to be going on the sea, and who could listen to an old woman with one thing and she saying it over?

Reference to the Context

      Cathleen expresses her views to Maurya, on the decision taken by Bartley. She is agreed with him because according to her, a young man like him can not sit idle at home, when his other friends are enjoying the adventures of the sea. She also blames Maurya for talking senselessly.

Explanation

      Bartley is quite ready to leave but Maurya is still repeating the same words which irritates Cathleen, who is in the favour of Bartley. She says that a man at such a flowering age, cannot show her back towards the exciting experiences of sailing. It is much necessary for Bartley because he is the only male member and if he does not go, who will manage the essential items of the household. Then she scolds her for saying the same things again and again, making Bartley confused.

Critical Comments

      Cathleen opposes her mother not only to defend his brother, but also to bring some change in the attitude of the mother who is not ready to understand the emotions and aims of a youth. These also refer the generation gap in which the elders have their own views but the young ones do not want to lead a passive life staying at home losing the real aim of life.

10.

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.

Reference to the Context

      Maurya utters these unlucky words in quite despair as all her attempts to stop Bartley are futile and he has just left the house, ignoring all of her warnings. Finally, she declares Bartley’s death even when he is alive and is about to go to the Mainland, in order to be able to sell two horses at a favorable price at the Galway fair. Maurya, is a heartbroken mother, whose only son does not listen to him, when she is sure of his doom and wants to collide with the God’s will if Bartley helps her in some way or others.

Explanation

      Bartley’s departure forces Maurya to cry. She weeps that all her efforts to stop him proved wasteful. She expresses her frustration due to her unhappy experiences of the past by declaring Bartley’s death, when he is alive and safe. Bartley’s negative behavior makes her to opine that Bartley is gone forever. He will not return and perish in the sea. The darkness of night will confuse Bartley and the sea will embrace him thus making all our days and night quite dark, with no light at all.

Critical comments

      These lines give us a hint that. Bartley is a man of over-confidence and will-power, whom, the tears of mother can not move. What he had decided, is fulfilled. But more stress is given on the prophecy spelled by Maurya, in anger and in a sense of despair. Like all other: male members of the family he will also leave her to face the bitter truths of life. We are also aware that the catastrophe could not be avoided by Maurya because death is inevitable.

11.

Why wouldn’t you give him your blessing and he looking round in the door? Isn’t it sorrow enough is on everyone in this house without you sending him out with an unlucky word behind him, and a hard word in his ear?

Reference to the Context

      Spoken by Cathleen to Maurya, her mother in J.M. Synge’s one-Act play Riders to the Sea, Maurya after being failed in her attempt to stop Bartley, loses her wits and foretells Bartley’s drowning even when he is quite safe. This is the sign of some ill-luck, which makes Cathleen angry with mother, who in spite of sending the child with love and blessings, utters hard words, which can harm him.

Explanation

      Maurya is informed by Cathleen that Bartley remained on the doorstep for some time to hear a good word from his mother, even then she continued, with her abuses and ill words. This is a bad sign, when the family had already come in contact with a lot of bereavements. Cathleen scolds her mother for her such intolerable behavior.

Critical Comments

      These lines evoke that Cathleen has the optimistic way of outlook while Maurya’s deep reverence is quite natural, for, she has been encountered with misadventures already. The chief vocation of the islanders is sailing and to aviate from it, is inadmissible for them. While the females have generated various superstitions from every walk of life. Even a dark word can cause afflictions and miseries, what Cathleen also thinks. Synge has provided us with all these references not only to enlighten the character but also to get us acquainted with the tragic inevitability.

12.

It’s destroyed he’ll be surly. There’s no sense left on any person in a house where an old woman will be talking forever.

Reference to the Context

      These words are spoken by Cathleen in J.M. Synge’s one Act play Riders to the Sea. Bartley, turning a deafer to her mother’s advice, leads to his chosen path which urged mother to talk senselessly affecting Cathleen’s presence of mind.

Explanation

      Mother’s tears cannot divert Bartley’s intention, thus developing her a fully absurd, who inspite of paying her blessings to the son on journey, spells the sulky word. Cathleen is bothered for Bartley, who will have to remain hungry during his journey. Cathleen puts all the blame on Maury a, who confused them and she forget to hand over the cake to Bartley, thus making the situation worse. Cathleen is annoyed because he had not tasted anything since morning and will starve to hunger.

Critical Comments

      Cathleen’s attachment with her brother Bartley is represented by these words. Bartley has not eaten anything since morning and had to remain on journey without nothing to eat the thought gives her a great shock and she can’t help abusing her mother for diverting her attention. She forgets to hand over the cake which was made especially for him. Synge has made a plan for arranging the meeting of Mother and son, which will develop the relationship and having a glance of Michael on the grey pony prepares Maurya to estimate the coming blow.

13.

Let you go down now to the spring well and give him this and he passing. You’ll see him then the dark word will be broken, and you can say ‘God speed you,’ the way he’ll be easy in his mind.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Cathleen to her mother Maurya in J.M. Synge’s one-Act play, Riders to the Sea. Maurya’s constant speeches over Bartley’s matter, caused Cathleen’s negligence to give the cake to Bartley. When she regrets what she had done recommends Maurya to chase him and give the cake.

Explanation

      Cathleen picks the pieces of the cake in a cloth and hands it over to Maurya. She advises her to rush at once to the spring well, where he later walking all the way. Cathleen, also, calms her that if she could get a chance of a glimpse of Bartley, the dark word, which she, had altered earlier, will be abolished. The cake given to him, will not only give him physical strength but also support him inwardly,. because it would have possessed the sister’s prayers and mother’s "Messings.

Critical Comments

      These words are themselves manifestations of the bond between brother and sisters. It also reflects Cathleen’s better understanding for she is troubled for her mother’s behavior towards Bartley,’ when, he was likely to go. The words spoken by Maurya can cause bad results, therefore she prepares her to nullify its effect and also to bless him while departing from her so as to encourage him, in his purpose. Cathleen’s remarks are really pathetic, reflecting a family, united in a way as the beads are woven into a string.

14.

In the big world the old people do be leaving things after them for their sons and children, but in this place it is the young men do be leaving things behind for them that do be old.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Maurya in J.M. Synge’s one-Act play, Riders to the Sea. Maurya is wrong by saying a hard word to Bartley, when he is on the door step. Thus the only remedy of it to follow him and have a one look of Bartley in order to negate the effect of the dark word as proposed by Cathleen to Maurya. Maurya, an aged woman, feels almost died at the thought of walking fast without any support. This dilemma is solved by Cathleen by offering her a stick.

Explanation

      Maurya says that this big world has its own traditions and customs which are imitated, one of which provokes that the death should come first to the elders not necessarily, but conventionally. Indirect way, She tells that the old people save a lot of things, keeping themselves aware of the needs of the youngers which could make their life easy and convenient. But, it is the divine will to enforce her to consume the commodities supplied by the children... Her words stand for the bitter truth that an old woman is alive even after confronting the departure of five juvenile sons.

Critical Comments

      The Aran Island, situated to the west of Ireland, is a rocky place with no trees at all. The inhabitants anticipate kelp making and sea-fishing, to survive. Both these jobs are precarious but unavoidable. All the sons of Maurya could not refrain from it and have fallen a prey to the sea next to be Bartley probably. What Maurya says here can not be suspected. In common, the old people pass their possessions to their children on their departure from the world. These wares secure their future and souls of all the dead is contented. But in this case, all the young have died, assigning their belongings to Maurya, which she is using with a broken heart.

15.

Maybe she’d turn back quickly. She’s that sorry, God help her, you wouldn’t know the thing she’d do.

Reference to the Context

      These words are spoken by Cathleen to Nora in J.M. Synge’s One- Act play Riders to the Sea. Maurya has left for the spring well so as to have a view of Bartley and giving him her blessings and love. In her absence, Nora, goes over to the turf attic in order to bring the bundle given by the young priest, to identify the clothes in it. Cathleen prevents her to do so, just after her departure.

Explanation

      Nora, an immature girl, wants to take the full advantage of her mother’s outgoing and climbs over the ladder to bring the clothes, sent for the identification just after Maurya leaves for the spring well to hand over the cake to Bartley. Cathleen stops her saying that mother is not quite in conscious, what she is doing and can be expected any moment even just after she has left this place. It is much better to wait for sometime and when we’re sure that she has gone far away then it will be pertinent to discharge the bundle.

Critical Comments

      We got more information on Maurya’s mental state as well as Cathleen’s character which imply her much awareness of the surrounding. These lines reveal us how much exhausted Maurya is, due to, constant blows and dooms; Cathleen is suspicious of mother’s conducts, who does not know about her doings; only following Cathleen’s suggestion has left for the spring well may come back at once it any other thought fills her with doubts. Nora’s childish behavior is also apparent by her actions. So, these lines best describe the different attitudes of the character as well as add the sequence of tragic events in story.

16.

It is surely. There was a man in here a while ago-the man sold us that knife-and he said if you set off walking from the rocks beyond, it would be in seven days you’d be in Donegal.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Cathleen to her younger sister Nora, in J.M. Synge’s One-Act play Riders to the Sea, Nora queries about Donegal location and was convinced that it is far away from where they reside and Cathleen also informs her about a man who had told her so.

Explanations

      Cathleen asks Nora how the priest could get these clothes and in which circumstances was the body retrieved. Nora answers her that the body was recovered by two men while rowing their boat. Then Cathleen ask for the knife to cut the damaged string. Nora want to know where Donegal locates, so Cathleen clears her that a man had sold her that knife, which is used now to cut the string of the bundle and the same man told her that if one starts waking from those distant rocks, it would take him seven days to reach Donegal.

Critical Comments

      Synge has given the super-natural touch to the play here and there, which is shown here to some extent. First thing, we are bewildered on being informed that the man had sold the knife, which is used later to open the bundle containing clothes of drowned Michael. The more astonishment, shook us, when the same man had referred the place ‘Donegal’, much before the catastrophe occurs. It is somewhat like the forwarning of a ‘saint’ or some ‘soul’.

17.

Isn’t it a queer hard thing to say if it’s his they are surely?

Reference to the Context

      This line is spoken by Cathleen expresses her disability to identify the clothes, without any solid proof. After examining the clothes, Cathleen thinks that only the resemblance of clothes can not declare their destiny.

Explanation

      Cathleen feels very helpless and ill-fated who is supposed to enquire whether the apparel belongs to her brother or not. She is baffled on the matter, whether the flannel matches with the shirt hung up at the nail, can determine Michael’s demise.

Critical Comments

      These words, spoken by Nora, further add to the pathos of the situation. The lines also reflect girl’s brashness as they are about to open the bundle which contain clothing of Bartley most probably. But the sister’s plight is beyond insight who with thousand prayers would have tried to unfasten it, in the absence of any elder to console them if the proofs echo Michael’s death under the most harrowing state. These unpleasant lines evoke a sense of despair and agony.

18.

It’s the same stuff, Nora; but if it is it self, aren’t there great rolls of it in the shops of Galway, and isn’t it many another man may have a shirt of it as well as Michael himself?

Reference to the Context

      These lines are addressed by Cathleen to her sister Nora in J.M. Synge’s one-Act play Riders to the Sea. Words uttered by Cathleen reveal us how she makes efforts to convince her that the clothes is not a basis to announce Michael’s drowning. After comparing the flannel of the recovered shirt with the one hanging on the nail Cathleen tries to escape from the reality, which may cause neurosis to Nora, who is not mature enough to bear it.

Explanation

      Cathleen tells Nora that the stuff of the flannel in the bundle is the same as that of Michael’s shirt at home. But only the resemblance of the shirts does not prove any affinity of the bundle with Michael. She gives a logical statement that the shops of Galways must have acquired the big rolls of the cloth of same flannel and most probably, many people should have purchased the same cloth. Finally, she reaches at the conclusion that the shirt got off from a drowning man, can not determine their destiny.

Critical Comments

      These lines reveal Cathleen’s reasoning capability and emotional turbulence in her mind. Even, after finding closeness of the two shirts, she does not move and controlling her sentiments, assures Nora that the clothes of the same flannel are worn by many people. Altogether, these words intensify the tragic atmosphere as the girls are shown, trying to convince themselves eluding from the truth.

19.

It's Michael; God spare his soul, and what will herself say when she hears this story, and Bartley on the sea?

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Nora to her elder sister Cathleen in Riders to the Sea written by J.M. Synge. Cathleen has compared the shirts and found prepared of the same flannel, even then, is doubtful and looks for another proof i.e. a plain stocking, which is ever made by Nora herself. When she counts the stitches, finds the same number, makes herself sure that the dead body recovered in Donegal was of their brother, Michael.

Explanation

      Nora finds the stocking same she had knitted herself and starts crying out the dead body discovered in Donegal, was not of any other one, but of their loving brother Michael, who lost his life while struggling hard to confronting the hardships of the sea. Nora imagines the mother’s predicament hearing the news of Michael’s drowning, when Bartley is, also playing the game of life and death.

Critical Comments

      Nora’s speech is full, of despair after being sure of Michael’s death. Nora’s concern for Maurya is depicted here. We also get acquainted with the coming disaster to Maurya, who is already upset due to the departure of Bartley her only surviving son.

20.

Isn't it a bitter thing to think of him floating that way to the far north, and no one to keep him but the black hags that do be flying on the sea?

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Cathleen, to her younger sister, Nora, in J.M. Synge’s one-act play, Riders to the Sea. Identification ’of the possessions of bundle clarifies that the articles one of Michael’s and as both of them are the sisters of the departed brother, could not help wailing and moaning.

Explanation

      The idea of Bartley’s drowning and the absence of anyone to wail over Michael’s death gives her a shock. She is overburdened by the thought of Bartley’s experience of defying the abhorrent waves of the sea. When all the endeavors proved fruitless, he would have gone desperate, facing the evil death. The more panic for Cathleen is that Michael’s dead body remained on the sea coast with no one of his family members to have a last sight of his face and to cry over his death except the black ugly hags which keep fluttering upon the sea.

Critical Comments

      These lines bring forth us the tragedy of a human l|eing, who is quite unaware of his tomorrow, which may come With a lot of ecstasies or various mis-happenings. On the other hand, Cathleen’s deep passion for her brother reveals us, when the only fancy of her brother’s situation while trying to come out of the danger, compels her to shriek.

21.

And isn’t it a pitiful thing when there is nothing left of a man who was a great rower and fisher but a bit of an old shirt and a plain stocking?

Reference to the Context

      These words are the wails of Nora, after coming to know that Michael their brother has gone forever. Cathleen is grief-stricken on the thought of his painful death. A thought which gives her a jolt was his remaining on the sea bank, with no over to weep over him.

Explanation

      Nora is still and quiets listening her sister’s words, which provide a sense of dismay to her and she could not help in saying that her brother was a brave young man, who enjoyed the most disastrous bouts of the sea, got such a diring end. All that left of him is an old shirt and a plain stocking, that were removed off the dead body by the young priest.

Critical Comments

      The words illustrate us how Nora is passing by mental agonies after the appalling death of her brother, Michael. The words spoken by Nora adds to the pathos of the situation. Nobody can withstand such calamity, casted upon Maurya’s family.

      God forgive you; isn’t is a better thing to raise your voice and tell what you seen, than to be making lamentation for a thing that’s done?

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Cathleen to her mother, Maurya, who has recently come from the spring well, supposing her meeting with Bartley. Cathleen meddles in the matter to know why her mother is weeping bitterly. She enforces her to utter something which could ensure them what really has happened.

Explanation

      Both of the girls, Nora and Cathleen, wiped their tears so as not to disturb their mother, who has come from the Spring well taking a glance of her dear son, Bartley. But the situation is fully reversed, as the mother came overwhelmed and exhausted, even incapable to disclose the purpose behind her dismal. Cathleen can not withstand the silence of her mother and urges her to lament no more and make them aware of the sufferings she had undergone. Cathleen is worried much because the death of Michael is declared and any other thing is troubling mother, then how can they tell the truth to her; when she has been already devastated due to some reason.

Critical Comments

      These lines have mysterious effect on our mind, how Maurya behaves awkwardly. Her abnormality makes us confused, what Maurya has encountered with during his journey, hoping to have a look at Bartley. Synge has also tried to alarm us for the coming ill-luck for Maurya.

23.

I’m after seeing him this day and he riding and galloping. Bartley came first on the red mare, and I tried to say ‘ God Speed you’, but something choked the words in my throat. He went by quickly, and ‘the blessing of God on you’. Says he, and I could say nothing. I looked up then, and I crying, at the grey pony and there was Michael upon it - with fine clothes on him, and new shoes on his feet.

Reference to the Context

      In these lines, Maurya, the appalling protagonist of the play deliberates her fantasy to Cathleen and Nora. Maurya was uneasy due to pig-headed Bartley with strong determination to leave this day, the sea is not, calm. She curses her for not paying attention, what she is saying. Cathleen suggests her to amend herself by having another glance of Bartley and providing him with the bread. When Maurya comes back after seeing Bartley at the spring well, she is a wretched woman.

Explanation

      Maurya, on being compelled, tells Cathleen, that the has seen Michael who is supposed to be no more, just behind Bartley, riding and galloping on a horse. She explains that Bartley was seen on the red mare and she tried to bless her but could not due to some supernatural force. Bartley came beside her and wished her but she could not open her mouth. Then she looked up and watched Michael riding on the grey pony, just behind Bartley. She also refers that Michael was well dressed wearing a pair of new shoes.

Critical Comments

      Maurya’s vision is a ground for declaring Bartley’s death not very far away. The ghost of Michael was seen on the grey pony symbolically significant as the grey color echoes voidness and sobriety. Then, later, we come to know that grey pony knocked Bartley down in the sea, causing him death. Thus the vision of Maurya does not prove, ‘a bad dream of a pessimistic lady’ rather ‘a prediction of a helpless mother’. These words therefore create an atmosphere of supernatural mystery and fear. Besides, these words make us attentive towards the superstitious and blind faiths of the islands, which could have a fair guess sometime.

24.

It's little the like of him knows of the sea Bartley will be lost now, and let you call in Eamon and make me a good coffin out of the white boards, for and won’t live after them.

Reference to the Context

      These lines of Maurya reflect her as an aghast woman with no more intention to live, enduring all these endless sufferings. After coping with a vision she has not any assurance of Bartley’s existence, so tells her daughter her great wish to die.

Explanation

      Maurya denounces the Christian faith in these lines for, the young priest’s previous statement that God can not deprive her of the last son, is going to be wrong. She meaner to say that the young priest may have studied countless books on holy themes but lacks the knowledge of sea adventures, so can not determine the fate of a sailor. Her fantasy has given her the hint of Bartley’s fortune which is fatal. She orders her daughters to call Eamon who could prepare a good coffin because all the male members have led towards heaven, deserted her with all the responsibilities, which she thinks can not be accomplished.

Critical Comments

      The speech is basically a commentary on the wavering faith of Maurya, who must have given reward as Bartley for losing much on the name of God (the loss of children) for keeping the faith unshaken. After, Bartley’s demise, Maurya’s survival is much unpleasant for us, for how would a defeated old lady make arrangements for life. May Synge would have also thought of giving Maurya a peaceful death, later changed his mind.

25.

I’ve had a husband and a husband’s father, and six sons in this house-six five men though it was a hard birth I had with every one of them and they coming to the world and some of them were found and some of them were not found but they're gone now the lot of them

Reference to the Context

      Taken from Synge’s Riders to the Sea, these lines spoken by Maurya, are the recollection of her deadly past. She informs her daughters that it was a happy family with eight male members, who vanished into the sea one by one.

Explanation

      Maurya recalls that she had lost her husband, her husband’s father and six sons, including Bartley also. The pain she had undergone giving birth to all these sons was much but when she has lost all these sons has done much harm to her which cannot be remedied. But more terrible is that the dead bodies of some of them could be recovered but others extinct in the vast sea. It concerns to her but the moreover, all of her sons have forsaken her and she is totally dejected.

Critical Comments

This recollection of Maurya serves to have an acquaintance of the background of Maurya’s life, which is extensively tragic. We are filled with the deepest pity for her. Fishermen, sailors have been the frequent sufferers and at the mercy of God. And their families suffer an even worse fate, who seldom get the bodies of their dear ones and often in rotten state if are able to get them.

26.

There does be a power of young men floating round in the sea and what way would they know if it was Michael they had, or another man like him, for when a man is nine days in the sea and the wind blowing, it’s hard set his own mother would he to say what man was in it.

Reference to the Context

      These lines from J.M. Synge’s Riders to the Sea form Maurya’s plea to Cathleen’s statement that Michael is suppose to drowned in the far north and his dead body got a nice burial there. To Maurya’s surprise women come inside keening and wailing. For the by gone days had shingled her fully. She anticipated that a man being dead in the sea for nine days can not be identified easily.

Explanation

      Maury a, a woman conquered by destiny, tells that some men are endowed with amazing power to keep floating for long distances in the sea even after being dead and she considers Michael of such an exceptional case. But she is disappointed or the thought and criticized herself by saying that it would be impossible to recognize any one of them after it has been in the sea for nine days colliding with the rocks due to the strong winds and the storms. The dead body may have distorted in a way that a mother would be unable to recognize him.

Critical Comments

We get much information of the lives led by the Islanders. Young men suffer most, as they leave happy, but only the distorted dead bodies are recovered, which are almost beyond identification due to the constant floating in the sea, sometimes attacked by the sea creatures. Maurya’s remarks about the power of the young men suggest to us that the people who have fantastic mastery over sailing, can not withstand the vicious nature of sea and it is this aspect which give rise to the tragedy.

27.

They’ re all gone now and there isn’t anything more the sea can do to me.....I’ll have no call now to be up crying and praying when the wind breaks from the south, and you can hear the surf is in the east and the surf is in the west making a great stir with the two noises, and they hitting one on the other. I’ll have no call now to be going down and getting Holy Water in the dark nights after Samhain and I won’t care what way the sea is when the other women will be keeping.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are spoken by Maurya in J.M. Synge’s Riders to the Sea, on getting the news of Bartley’s death, who was her last surviving son after all the men collapsed in the sea. Bartley’s death converted the most fearful lady into an unflinching one because nobody would go to the sea now.

Explanation

      Bartley’s drowning had a negative effect on the mind of Maurya who is no more tremendous of the hostile nature of the sea. Now she is confident that the ruthful sea can do nothing wrong to her. What it could render, is accepted by her patiently. Now, the intolerable sounds of the sea or the winds causing storms in the sea can not make her scream and pleading for the whole night because not any member of her family is fighting with the life and death. Now, it is not necessary to get the holy water in the dark night on the occasion of All Soul Day. She is not bothered about the temperaments of the sea when the other women will be mourning their dead.

Critical Comments

      These lines imply that Maurya’s sorrows have reached their extreme where all fears and anxieties and the efforts to avert them are over. Having lost all her sons, she consoles herself with the thought that the sea will no longer be able to do any harm to her. She feels that sea being her enemy who has taken all her sons, is thwarted by her tolerance. Even losing eight male members she did not shake. But this is both a cry of despair and defiance born out of a despondency. There is a blend of desperation and audacity, in Maurya’s outburst. In fact, the villain’s role is performed by the sea, which not only cause the tragedy to Maurya but several other Islanders. Synge has implied the negative aspect of nature, which is totally contradicted with Wordsworth’s statements, “When the winning forms of Nature were collaterally attached to every scheme of holiday delight.”

28.

It isn’t that I haven't prayed for you, Bartley, to the Almighty God. It isn't that I haven't said prayers in the dark night till you wouldn't know what I’d be saying; but it’s a great rest I’ll have show and it’s time surely, it’s a great rest I’ll have now, and great sleeping in the long nights after Samhain, if it’s only a bit of wet flour we do have to eat and maybe a fish that would be stinking.

Reference to the Context

      These lines are the uproar of Maurya trying to tell her dead son that she was not partial with any son and remained praying for him too till the midnight. But, since the death of Bartley has left her dejected and forlorn, still gutsy to challenge the sea, what it has now in store.

Explanation

      As Maurya sprinkles the holy water over Bartley’s feet, she outbursts that all her prayers she had done for the safety of his last son Bartley, proved futile. But even then, she convinces him, (felling his presence there), that she begged for the whole night as the drowning of his, was estimated by her, but could not move the cruel heart of the sea She was only afraid of the sea calamities, as long as her last son was alive but now when he is no more is quiet and calm nothing to be worrying about. She goes on saying that she is tired of long seating and doing prayers now will have a complete rest with no more tension. Then she gives an outcry that in the absence of any male member she would not be able to arrange good flour and fish but will be satisfied with the wet and a stale fish as she has not any intention of good life, without any male member.

Critical Comments

      These lines reveal the stage of denouement, after the painful death of Bartley. With the death of Bartley Maurya has attained the status of a stoic resignation. Reference of the wet flour and striking fish actually imply that she does hope for the good meals after bearing the greatest loss. Whereas the language of Synge is concerned it is completely harmonized with the situation. As- Raymond Williams remarks “the use of a surprising organic language akin in process to poetry....” is deserving.

29.

They’re all together this time, and the end is come. May the Almighty God have mercy on Bartley’s soul and on Michael's soul and on the souls of Sheamus and Patch and Stephen and Shawn and may. He have mercy on my soul Nora, and on the soul of every one is left living in the world.

Reference to the Context

       Maurya’s speech tell us that her life has been a continue series of catastrophe. She sprinkles the last drop of the holy water on the dead bodies, suggesting that this holy water is no more needed. She has lost the last son i.e. Bartley and the prayers will not be done, from now. Only she begs for the peace not only to the dead ones but also to herself.

Explanation

      Laying her hands on Bartley’s feet Maurya tells that all the male members might have joined in the heaven and they would have celebrated the occasion on being have the company of Bartley too. Now the sufferings have been ended up. The last prayer she can do is, only for the mercy God on the soul of all the male members, who have disappeared. Then she also prays for the mercy on her soul and on the souls of everyone, who is left forlorn by their members.

Critical Comments

      The blend of resignation and defiance is very much like a Greek tragedy. It was Synge's distinction not to turn the heroes of tradition into living men, but to make ordinary men into heroes. She sprinkles all the holy water not saving even a drop of it, symbolizing her mind free from any further anxiety. The thought that all are together now probably gives her comfort that someday she will also join them in the Heaven.

30.

Michael has a clean burial in the far north, by the grace of the Almighty God. Bartley will have a fine coffin out of the white boards, and a deep grave surely. What more can we want that No man at all can be living forever and we must be satisfied.

Reference to the Context

      The ultimate speech of Maurya, the tragic protagonist, strikes our mind that human being is helpless and miserable in the hands of fate. Maurya, in the end, accepts her destiny without any protection.

Explanation

      Maurya a self-piteous old woman after losing all the sons tries to sympathize with herself saying that it is enough for her that Michael has been given a fine burial in the distant north. The coffin prepared for the body of Michael now goes to Bartley’s dead body. She assures Bartley that he will get a deep peaceful grave. One can hardly think of more than that. The concluding lines evoke that man is mortal and death comes to all. Then why should we resist what is inevitable i.e. death. Ending is superb with the lines ‘We must be satisfied ” what we get from the fate, may vit is in our favor or against our will.

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