Evaluate Riders to the Sea as a modern tragedy with a classical setting

  • Comparable to Greek tragedy

Introduction: Riders to the Sea is one of the notable tragic plays একটি উল্লেখযোগ্য ট্র্যাজিক নাটক of the modern age. Tragedy is a type of play that represents problems and sufferings of the human life. The confrontation of conflicting forces বিবাদী শক্তির সংঘাত in human mind and the bitter human suffering constitute গঠন করে the essence of tragedy ট্র্যাজেডির প্রয়োজনীয়তা. Riders to the Sea succeeds in representing human sufferings which raise pity and fear among us and make us to decide that the play is a great one in its tragic effect.

Similarities with Greek tragedy

Riders to the Sea by an Irish playwright John Millington Synge (16 April 1871 – 24 March 1909) is almost similar to the Greek tragedy setting in the modern context আধুনিক প্রসঙ্গে. Here is the comparison in detail with reference to the play.

Tragic theme

According to Aristotle, tragedy originated ট্র্যাজেডির উদ্ভব হয়েছিল from Greek literature. Tragic theme that means pathos করুণ-রসis the fundamental condition মৌলিক শর্ত for a play being tragedy একটি নাটক বিয়োগান্তক হওয়ার জন্য. The tragic theme of Riders to the Sea moves round with the deep pathos of a mother-heart Maurya. The tragedy of the play is simple and straight-forward সাদাসিধা but sublime and universal মহৎ এবং সর্বজনীন. And the message of the play that is akin to সদৃশ Greek tragedy is –

“No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied”

Attainment of unique tragic grandeur অনন্য ট্র্যাজিক মহিমা অর্জন

The play has the magnificence বিশালতা of a classical tragedy in its attainment তার অর্জনে of a unique tragic grandeur শ্রেষ্ঠত্ব. The tragedy of Maurya is unforgettable অবিস্মরণীয় one though she is an old, unlettered অশিক্ষিত, superstitious কুসংস্কারাচ্ছন্ন and peevish বদরাগী woman. It is factual that এটা সত্য যে Maurya has nothing of the brilliance or the personality like that of Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra but she touches our heart with pathetic feelings. করুণ অনুভূতি সহ

Technical standpoint দৃষ্টিকোণ

From the technical standpoint, Riders to the Sea also comes closer to the classical tragedy. The principal of the three unities (unity of time, place and action) of the classical tragedy is scrupulously followed অবিচ্ছিন্নভাবে অনুসরণ করা হয় here. The play has a single plot of the acute suffering তীব্র ভোগান্তি of an old mother. The duration of the play does not cover more than an hour. The action of the play is laid in a lonely seacoast cottage.

Role of chorus

Riders to the Sea has not the conventional chorus of the classical tragedy. But the conversation কথোপকথন of the two sisters, Cathleen and Nora, represents the prosaic গদ্যময় chorus of the play.

“She is lying down. God helps her and may be sleeping”.

Thus, it is akin to Greek tragedy in modern context আধুনিক প্রসঙ্গে.

Fate based ভাগ্য ভিত্তিক

Greek tragedy is out and out fate based. Like Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Riders to the Sea is also completely a fate-based tragedy. All the characters who are visible or invisible are forced to submit themselves before fate. The tragic figure of the play Maurya has lost her six young sons, husband and father-in-law who were really helpless. The supernatural agent of the play ‘sea’ symbolizes inscrutable বর্ণনাতীত fate.

Dramatic or tragic irony

Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something that the characters do not know. Irony has been used in this play to create the tragic anticipation পূর্বাভাস. Bartley says the very opposite of what will happen. He says that he will come back from Galway Fair in two or four days. Similarly, there are uses of premonitions পূর্বাশঙ্কা and forebodings পূর্বাভাস which appeal to our senses of pity and terror. A simpler but still classical use of foreboding speech occurs when Maurya says to Bartley:

“What way will I live and the girls with me,

and I an old woman looking for the grave কবরের সন্ধান করছি?

When Bartley leaves, Maurya makes another foreboding comment which suggests that the sea or the fate is working against her and Bartley will be killed.

“He’s gone now, God spare us, and we’ll not see him again. He’s has gone now,

and when the black night is falling, I’ll have no son left me in the world”.

Conclusion: It is quite clear from the above discussion that in a very small canvas, Synge has successfully constructed the effect of his modern tragedy akin to the craft and convention নৈপুণ্য এবং ঐতিহ্যের অনুরূপ of Greek theatre. Besides, it is not merely a tragedy of an individual old woman but a tragedy of those people who struggle for survival against the heavy odds of life.

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