ideas to consider while considering Riders to the Sea

English 1B: Monday, 3/24, Readers Theater style presentation of the “Riders to the Sea.” The play is in the public domain, so you can find it several places on-line as well as lots of information about Synge, etc. The play is also posted on the class blog, http:/ If you read it on-line, leave a comment!

Main characters:
Maura (Gwendolyn)
Bartley (Eric A?)
Cathleen (KM)
Nora (Amanda)
Minor characters (one/few lines)
Old Man
Another Man
One Woman
Second Woman

While you’re reading the play, consider:

1. who was J. M. Synge?
2. where and when has the play been performed?
3. symbols: the colors white and red
4. the symbol of water
5. the passing on of various articles—examples and meaning
6. allusions to fate/who were the 3 fates?
7. allusions to religion and the Bible, especially Revelations
8. when does the play take place and why is this important?
9. the comment of the priest
10. define tragedy—Aristotle’s and contemporary (what’s comedy?)
11. the role of the supernatural
12. pagan beliefs, in particular with relevance to the cake
13. keening and other unknown words and acts
14. the setting in the Aran Islands (Ireland)
15. historical context within which the play takes place
16. what and when was the Irish Literary Revival and who was involved?
17. refer to handout with questions to consider when reading drama
We will be discussing these topics in class Mon. 3/24/08. Any research and documentation that you do on the play and bring to class will be considered extra credit, could count toward making up an absence, or as an literary/cultural event.