Discuss the tactics that the "man" uses to change the sergeant's mind in the play The Rising of the Moon.

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The Ragged Man proves very skillful at diverting the Sergeant from doing his duty as a police officer. Initially, the Sergeant is very hostile toward the man and orders him to leave for the town so as to leave the wharf clear to make it easier to apprehend the escapee....

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The Ragged Man proves very skillful at diverting the Sergeant from doing his duty as a police officer. Initially, the Sergeant is very hostile toward the man and orders him to leave for the town so as to leave the wharf clear to make it easier to apprehend the escapee. But the Ragged Man gradually gains the Sergeant's confidence and in so doing, acts as a catalyst for the re-emergence of the Sergeant's long-suppressed rebel sympathies.

He does this first of all by telling the Sergeant that he knows the rebel well. According to the Ragged Man, the rebel's a dangerous, powerful man, skilled in the art of weaponry. This information gives the Sergeant a bit of a scare, and so he now welcomes the man's company, as he's worried that this dangerous criminal could arrive on the scene at any moment.

The Ragged Man then uses his skills as a balladeer to sing old Irish songs to the Sergeant, such as the one about an oppressed old lady called Granuaile. (The song is clearly an allegory on the state of Ireland under British colonial rule).

Little by little, the man is reminding the Sergeant that, beneath his police uniform, he's still an Irishman at heart, and that instead of serving the British colonial authorities, he should be fighting on behalf of the rebels. The Sergeant himself used to sing this very song in his younger days, and the Ragged Man's singing of it stirs up nostalgic memories, which remind him of the time when he too was a supporter of the cause of Irish nationalism.

Thanks to the Ragged Man, who, of course, is the escaped rebel, the Sergeant has become utterly confused as to his true identity. So much so that he lets the rebel escape instead of turning him in as is his duty. As the rebel rows off into the distance, the Sergeant wonders whether he hasn't just made an almighty great fool of himself for letting the man go.

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