The Rising of the Moon

by Isabella Augusta Persse

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What literary devices are used in The Rising of the Moon?

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In Lady Gregory's The Rising of the Moon, literary devices such as hyperbole, repetition, stichomythia, and allusion are utilized. The ragged man's hyperbolic and repetitive speech patterns, along with the fast-paced stichomythia dialogue between him and the sergeant, add depth and interest. Allusion is also present in the form of old Irish ballads, including the one that gives the play its title.

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The literary devices used in The Rising of the Moon by Lady Gregory include hyperbole, repetition, stichomythia, and allusion.

The ragged man in The Rising of the Moon has a rhetorical, hyperbolic way of speaking, using such exaggerated phrases as "All the world’s against the poor!" and "Do you want to have me killed?" He is also given to repeating the sergeant's words and phrases as they talk. He sometimes does this to evade the sergeant's questions, as when the sergeant repeatedly asks where he is going, and he replies,

Sure you told me to be going, and I am going.

The play consists almost entirely of a long dialogue between the ragged man and the sergeant. Much of this is conducted in stichomythia, short, staccato lines which speed up the pace of their conversation, adding interest to a play in which there is little action.

Finally, the ragged man sings old Irish ballads, which appear at first to be solely for entertainment but turn out to be part of the man's scheme to evade capture. The title of the play is an allusion to one of these ballads.

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