Tragedy and Satire of Irish Life as Depicted by J.M. Syng

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Riders to The Sea and The Playboy of the Western World in a way are two opposite poles of Syng's literary work, as the first one represents him as a great patriot and the other as a cruel realistic satirist of the very nation he himself originates from. Riders to the Sea is a short poetic play that depicts the perennial failure of those who work with and on the sea. The play is a mere moment in the lives of few characters, but it holds within it the meaning of what they and the millions like them have done and suffered. The play reflects reality in which people have to struggle for a living, but unlike most of his work this play is not concerned with social, political or nationalistic issues, it cuts behind the surface engaging its characters in the most elemental kind of struggle- that for existence. Thanks to the realistic, highly descriptive and plausible language Sing uses to tell his story, after the very first lines reader in his mind gets the picture of the cruel, wild and rough terrain. Syng uses that kind of language to describe the conflict between human beings and nat...

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