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Riders to the Sea

J. M. Synge

Book Overview: 

Set in a cottage on Inishmaan, it is about a man whose body was washed up on the far away coast of Donegal, and who, by reason of certain peculiarities of dress, was suspected to be from the island.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Synge's work far out of the current of the Irish literary revival, and sets it high in a timeless atmosphere of universal action.

Its characters live and die. It is their virtue in life to be lonely, and none but the lonely man in tragedy may be great. He dies, and then it is the virtue in life of the women mothers and wives and sisters to be great in their loneliness, great as Maurya, the stricken mother, is great in her final word.

"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 than that? No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied." The pity and the terror of it all have brought a great peace, the peace that passeth understanding, and it is because the play holds this timeless peace after the storm which has bowed down every character, that "Riders to the Sea" may rightly take its place as the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

they're all gone now, and there isn't anything more the sea can do to me...more

This is a short play about the perils of the sea written by Irish author J.M Synge. It is quite short but it manages to convey many emotions.

well this was way more intense than i expected

"لقد جمع الله شملهم الآن."
كم يكون الرضا مؤلم في بعض الأحيان؟

لقد أسأت التوقيت
نعم .......لقد أسأت التوقيت
إني أتلوي ألما بداخلي وأبكي ضعفا وحسرة و وجعاً
المسرحية تزامنت مع حادثة فقدان ثلاث أشقاء في بحر الإسكندرية وجدو إثنين وثالث مفقود
ماهذا ألم .........
انه موت الروح بحق
أدعو للام بصبر وبالرحمة للأبناء
الأم هنا تستميت لإيجاد طفلها المفقود لتدفنه ويرقد في س

It is undeniable that J.M. Synge was a very important Irish playwright of the early 20th century. These plays, especially, "Playboy of the Western World," are pivotal to Irish literature, and now, Irish culture. Any serious student of British drama, or actor should read both of these plays.
On the ot

How much better could life possibly be? I get to read Irish plays and discuss them with students. Life is grand!

Riders to the Sea is a gorgeous play. The performance by Druid is superb (thanks, Zan!).

Short yet crisp . A tragedy that revolves around the conventions of life and death.

إن البحر ليس بهذا السوء، أقسم لكم أنه ليس كذلك..!
حسناً، ربما يعصف بمريديه أحياناً،
ولكنه يقدرهم أحياناً أكثر..
فكم من سفينة وصلت أمنة إلي البر الأخر بواسطته ..
وكم من أرض مطمورة أكتشفت بسببه..
وكم من خيرات منّ بها علينا..!
حسناً، أنا متحيذة له قلباً وقالباً،

حتى وإن تحاملت على نفسي وأتخذت المغزى الفلس

I've read this play in university but I couldn't remember the title. After intruding on Google by putting some keywords trial, I finally found it and re-read it. "Riders to the Sea" from now on will never be dismissed from my mind.

The story tells about Maurya who has lost her husband, father-in-law,

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