In Riders to the Sea, do you agree with the view that Synge's Maurya is a 'tragic character' who refuses to 'accept defeat'?
I think there is a definite sense in which this is true. What is most impressive about Maurya's character is the way she is able to accept, almost triumphantly, what fate has to throw at her and can greet it with dignity and calm self-control. In spite of having lost all of her sons to the sea and the harsh future that awaits her without any of her sons to be able to help look after her, she is still able to say that "there isn't anything more the sea can do to me." The play ends with her assertion that "They're all together this time, and the end has come." Thus she believes that her sons are altogether in happiness and to her, all she can do is ask for mercy to be on everyone's soul. In spite of her fate, she remains unbowed by the vicissitudes of life and her defiance in the face of the sea, that has brought her so much suffering, is laudable to say the least.