• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Words are signals, counters. They are not immortal." Discuss Hugh's attitude to the Irish language and language in general.

Extracts from this document...


Alex Ezrati 'Words are signals, counters. They are not immortal." Discuss Hugh's attitude to the Irish language and language in general. Hugh, considering himself the most literarily knowledgeable member of the Hedge School community, speaks in continuous riddles, shifting from Gaelic to Latin to English and back to Gaelic again without end throughout the whole play. From his very first lines, we can already see what kind of a man Hugh is, showing off his knowledge of Latin and speaking like a Lord. "Adsum, Doalty, adsum...Vesperal salutations to you all." The only other character who communicates with him in Latin is Jimmy, with whom he has a close friendship and shares a passion for the Classics. It becomes evident later in the play that the only reason he so commonly talks in such a pretentious manner is that he doesn't have much of interest to say, and likes to be ruler of the roost, so to speak. ...read more.


There is no 'always' in life or language. A recurring habit of Hugh's is to categorise his topics of conversation into items A, B and C, however he rarely (if ever) gets to item C, and needs Doalty to remind him. Hugh's abundance of 'indeed's and item numbers do little but accentuate the fact that he has little of interest to say, and affects an organised, official leader role, without much success. Upon meeting Lieutenant Yolland, Hugh acts coldly and talks to him as an inferior because of his language. However he is pompous to such an extent that he makes himself out to be a bit of an idiot at times, for instance when George mentions William Wordsworth, and Hugh cockily replies, "...we're not familiar with your literature...We tend to overlook your island." It is true that the Irish may have felt closer to Southern Europe due to existing trading links, but to speak about a great empire and also a great poet as if they were far inferior to him just proves his stupidity and total ignorance. ...read more.


"...words are...not immortal. And it can happen...that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of...fact." This is one of the rare times when Hugh regains some intelligence, and quite astutely realises what's going on. He is basically, surprisingly saying that Yolland had better not get too comfortable and involved with the Gaelic language because its end is sure to come. It seems that Hugh is not as ignorant as he normally seems, but that his non-stop drinking helps to take his mind off the fact that the past cannot live on forever. Because of his gradual realisation, at the end of the play Hugh completely gives up his uphill struggle of retaining the past, and realises that he must teach and become accustomed to all the new English place names if he is to have an identity at all. "We must learn where we live. We must learn to make them our own. We must make them our new home." In conclusion, Hugh never learned to live with changes and new beginnings until it was too late. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    and ""Miss Potts" is described in very basic terms, only phrases are used to illustrate her status, rather than specific vocabulary - "it wouldn't do to get into her bad books" . The main noticeable difference between this and the most modern text is the change in meaning of certain words - most obviously the use of the word "gay".

  2. Peer reviewed

    The Language used in School Reports

    3 star(s)

    The ending of this section, evident in almost all reports, goes back to a positive comment or a target for the pupil to work towards "She must try to improve her Geography result in the future." This shows that the teacher has made and communicated clear target The register used is vital in school reports.

  1. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    All a bit heavy, I admit, but when you can see where you've come from, where you are going and why you are here it makes life far more enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile! (As a post script, a friend reading this said I should mention that I can cook very well, and for up to ten people at a time!)

  2. Final Fantasy XIII Review

    The objective was to emulate the main linguistic features, such as lexis, semantics, pragmatics and discourse. The lexical field had to be almost identical to the model, since the target audiences are exactly the same, and the only aspect that was altered was the change in subject.

  1. Do you detect any general trend or trends in the pattern of English politics ...

    the areas they could control increased; Keynes' attempt to deny extensive overlordship in this period to strengthen his (already strong) case against a formal Bretwaldic institution is not particularly convincing. Furthermore, overlordship did not end with Oswiu: indeed, the later Mercian kings were possibly even more successful in securing practical overlordship across much of Southumbria.

  2. "It's easy to become a football hooligan!" - Discuss

    It is known to be 'manly' to be drinking and celebrating with friends. It is especially a feast to be drinking in trips abroad to foreign places. On many occasions, situations have gotten out of hands due to excessive drinking and the English hooligans are unaware of their deeds due to the intense pleasure and excitement they achieve from drinking.

  1. Early and Later Wittgenstein's conception of the world, ethics and later analysis of language.

    Language is ordinary language, vernacular. It is not to be delivered from something more fundamental in the form of elementary propositions. Language, being ordinary, is to be explored in all its great variety and complexity. It is to be described and understood as it is found, and not to be reduced to some basic structure.

  2. Meeting Maire.

    something about moving away to start a new life on an Irish island somewhere." Nearly choking on her coffee, she breaks into laughter, then sharply looks me dead in the eye admitting that she loved him more than her own father.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work