J. M. Synge: Riders to the Sea

(963 words)
  • George Cusack (University of Oklahoma)

Riders to the Sea was first performed on February 25, 1904 by the Irish National Theatre Society (later and more widely known as the Abbey Theatre). Although it received mixed reviews at its opening, the one-act play was a favorite of the Abbey's Managing Director, W. B. Yeats, and thus it remained a staple of the Abbey's repertoire for many years after its inaugural run. Today, it stands as one of the great literary achievements of Synge's tragically short life and a testament to the dramatic power Synge located in the lives of the western Irish people at the turn of the twentieth century.

Riders is set on the Aran islands, a location which was remotely familiar to most Irish people in 1902 but was intimately f…

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Cusack, George. "Riders to the Sea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10165, accessed 27 September 2016.]