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Why should we call "Riders to the Sea" a poetic drama?

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sudipa | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2009 at 11:44 PM via web

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Why should we call "Riders to the Sea" a poetic drama?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 8, 2009 at 3:58 AM (Answer #1)

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"Riders to the Sea" should be classified as a poetic drama because of the play's dialogue, some of the specific words used, and the overall symbolism. By the dialogue I mean Synge works hard to capture the poetry of Irish speech. The rhythms, the word choices, the syntax: all capture that lyricism. Look, for example, at this line: " Middling bad, God help us. There's a great roaring in the west, and it's worse it'll be getting when the tide's turned to the wind." That's a description of the weather!

The specific word choices are closely linked; the strong religious sentiment of the people mean that they often use names with Biblical or mythic resonance, such as Michael.

Finally, the overall situation is poetic, especially in the imagery. Look at how the body is kicked into the sea at the end.

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