Whose corpse is discovered in the play Riders to the Sea? What is shocking about this discovery?
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At the beginning of the play a corpse is found. It is suspected and later confirmed that this is Michael. Maurya predicts that if Bartley leaves, she will have no living son by nightfall. Bartley's body is recovered from the sea that very evening. He has fallen from his horse.
Depending on which corpse you are speaking of I think it is probably because the sea has taken all her sons, her husband and left Maurya alone "they're all gone now". She has predicted this event to Bartley earlier in the play...
When Maurya is saddened by the fact that she went Bartley away with cruel words, she follows him. She sees the ghosts of Michael and Bartley and knows that her predictions have come true.
The corpse of a man drowned in the sea was discovered in the far north in Donegal. The young parish priest gave Nora a bundle which contained some portions of the dead man's clothing. Nora and her elder sister, Cathleen, identified the shirt-sleeve and the stocking as things belonging to Michael. Their brother and old Maurya's fifth son, Michael, had been missing on the sea for nine days.
The following things about this discovery must be really shocking:
1. As and when the discovery was made, Maurya had been walking down to the Spring Well to deliver the bread and the blessing to Bartley, her last surviving son, riding to death.
2. Although Michael was a great rower, nothing remained of him but a few pieces of clothing.
3. Michael's body had been floating some two hundred miles, and none but the 'black hags'--the corpse-eating birds out on the sea--accompanied him.
4. Nora identified a sock having sixty stitches, with four among them dropped, to be Michael's.
Bartley . missing sons .the sea took their lives
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