Lady Gregory’s, The Rising of the Moon
The Rising of the Moon was a very interesting play. The setting takes place on a dock at night. There is very little lighting on the dock and the only object on the dock is a barrel. We start with three policeman, a Sargent and two regular officers. The two regular officers are posting fliers of an escaped prisoner. There is a reward mentioned on the fliers which is substantial and the officers talk about this and the possibility of a promotion for the one who brings in the fugitive. The two regular police officers leave the Sargent alone on the dock to go about posting more fliers. The Sargent staying to thwart a possible escape route for the escapee. Enter the ragged man posing as a ballad singer. He tries to walk past the Sargent but is stopped and asked his business. He explains that he wants to sell songs to sailors as they return to their ships from leave. A conversation ensues between them. As I was reading the play I first thought that the two main characters (the police Sargent and the ragged man) may have know one another. It was when the ragged man began to sing the ballad "Granuaile" (pronounced graw nya wail) and I found that it was a patriotic ballad that it struck me that the whole meaning was rebellion against English rule. The police Sargent Irish working to keep law and order for England. The ragged man Irish patriot or rebel. During their vebal exchanges the ragged man confesses that he is indeed the wanted criminal. He removes his disguise handing it to the Sargent (the disguise performs the entire journey towards the discovery of the Sargent's "true" identity underneath his mask of law and duty; the use and exchange of the disguise are similar to the exchanges of identity between the Irish man representing British rule and the Irish man representing the rebellion. [Marina, June, 2005] ) At the very moment the two regular officers are heard returning the ragged man hides behind the barrel the...
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