What is the theme of Synge's Riders to the Sea?  

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Synge's Riders to the Sea is a Greek-like tragedy set among Irish peasants on the Aran Islands.  The fate of the peasants rests with the sea and is out of their control.  The men on the island have no meansof providing for themselves and their families except the sea.  And the sea is unmanageable and destructive.  The men will try to earn a living on the sea, and they will be killed.  That is their fate.  The women will be left alone with no way to provide for themselves.  The peasants are trapped.  That is their fate.  The play closes with the mother, Maurya, giving in to fate and stating that she now has nothing left to lose, since everything has already been taken from her.