Riders to the Sea Essay

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RIDERS TO THE SEA a play in one-act by John Millington Synge | | The following one-act play is reprinted from Riders to the Sea. John M. Synge. Boston: John W. Luce, 1911. It is now in the public domain and may therefore be performed without royalties. CHARACTERSMAURYA, an old woman BARTLEY, her son CATHLEEN, her daughter NORA, a younger daughter MEN AND WOMEN | | [An island off the West of Ireland. Cottage kitchen, with nets, oilskins, spinning-wheel, some new boards standing by the wall, etc. CATHLEEN, a girl of about twenty, finishes kneading cake, and puts it down in the pot-oven by the fire; then wipes her hands, and begins to spin at the wheel. NORA, a young girl, puts her head in at the door.]NORA: (in a low voice) Where is she?CATHLEEN: She's lying down, God help her, and maybe sleeping, if she's able.[NORA comes in softly, and takes a bundle from under her shawl.]CATHLEEN: (spinning the wheel rapidly) What is it you have?NOBA: The young priest is after bringing them. It's a shirt and a plain stocking were got off a drowned man in Donegal.[CATHLEEN stops her wheel with a sudden movement, and leans out to listen.]NORA: We're to find out if it's Michael's they are; some time herself will be down looking by the sea.CATHLEEN: How would they be Michael's, Nora? How would he go the length of that way to the far north?NORA: 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're not his, let no one say a word about them, for she'll be getting her death," says he, "with crying and lamenting."[The door which NORA half closed is blown open by a gust of wind.]CATHLEEN: (looking out anxiously) Did you ask him would he stop Bartley going this day with the horses to the Galway fair?NORA: "I won't stop him," says he, "but let you not be afraid. Herself

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