Both plays by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory create a sense of danger that is to come. Throughout Cathleen Ni Houlihan, the characters hear a drumming crowd in the distance. Yet, they are inside their home, safe from the world outside. The setting would be the interior of a modest cottage with furnishings similar to that of 1798, when the play was set. Furthermore, the cottage would be modest in order to justify their need for the dowry from Michael’s future wife. The lights would be warm—amber and pink colors—on the inside as it is getting dark and there is a fire to sit by. Through the windows and the doors, there would be shafts of light, like they are trying to invade the home, much like the spirit of Ireland and the impending rebellion. Slowly the lights would become more saturated and take over the home due to the sun setting and the spirit—t...
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... fugitive for survival. Then, when the Ragged Man reveals the Sergeants past with the Irish rebels, the Sergeant is overcome with an internal struggle—and fear—to help the rebel or to capture him, continuing to give in to British rule with which he struggles to agree.
Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats’ work demonstrate the desires—and the controversies—to become a part of the Irish Rebellion in Cathleen Ni Houlihan and The Rising of the Moon. The decisions of the characters by the end to help the rebellion in their own ways could be elevated by lighting, costumes, set, and acting styles. Despite their differences, Yeats and Lady Gregory created worlds that had a future for the characters despite the dialogue ending. More importantly, however, their plays created a hope and a future for Ireland, despite the uncertainty that characters may have been left with at the end.
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