Critically analyze the title of the play The Rising of the Moon.

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In Lady Gregory’s one-act play, a police officer makes an irrevocable decision to help an escaped prisoner. This decision comes at a financial cost, as he is forfeiting a reward he might have claimed for capturing the prisoner. More importantly, however, it brings him a moral and ethical reward, as he is acting in accordance with his nationalist convictions rather than in obedience to the state. The title refers to Irish nationalism, as the audience would have been aware of the significance of the song of the same title, which the escapee sings—a ballad that had become a symbol of the cause. It also refers to this sentiment taking hold once more in the police officer, as he embraces the beliefs he had tried to set aside.

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