Religion and Irish Mythology in the Ballad of Father Gilligan

Topics: Irish language, Religion, Poetry Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: September 3, 2011
RELIGION AND IRISH MYTHOLOGY IN THE BALLAD OF FATHER GILLIGAN This poem takes a ballad form - a traditional form, usually sung, with regular, short stanzas that tell a story. It has a more overtly religious content than most of Yeats's poems. As a protestant who turned to theosophy and mysticism, Yeats usually stays away from Catholic themes. Yeats also usually stays away from the Irish language, which he uses in this poem when he writes, "mavrone!" which is the Irish, "Mo bhron," a cry of grief. Thus making 'religion' and 'Irish mythology' the main theme of the poem. RELIGION

The poem not only speaks to the poverty of rural Ireland, but also to their extreme religiosity. The priest is horrified by the fact that he did not make it to the bedside of the sick man before he died because no one performed the rites of extreme unction, meaning in the Catholic tradition that the man did not die in a state of grace, and therefore cannot go to heaven. The divine intervention which caused this not to be the case is an affirmation of a loving, kind God. In the Bible it talks about how God knows if even one sparrow dies. This poem's theme is the same as the idea that is in that quote. In this poem, Father Gilligan is worn out emotionally and physically. So when he tries to pray for the "poor man" who sent for him, he falls asleep. When he wakes up the next morning very early, he goes to the poor man's house and finds that an angel in his own form had already been there. The angel helped the man die happy. Gilligan says this shows that God cares even for him and the poor man .

W.B.Yeats, poet and playwright, was born in Dublin Ireland on 13th June 1865, but moved to Chis wick London in 1867 due to his father’s career as a lawyer and did not return to Ireland until 1881, where he studied at the Metropolitan School of Art, it was here that he met fellow poet George Russell who shared his interest in mysticism The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did...
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