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

Re-read Dancing at Lughnasa from the end of Act 1, page 38 (the stage direction Father Jack enters) to page 42 (bottom of the page). Discuss the importance of ceremony and its effect on an audience in this extract and in the

Extracts from this document...


Re-read Dancing at Lughnasa from the end of Act 1, page 38 (the stage direction 'Father Jack enters') to page 42 (bottom of the page). Discuss the importance of 'ceremony' and its effect on an audience in this extract and in the play as a whole. Brian's Friel "Dancing at Lughnasa" portrays the use of ceremonies within the play. The play enables the audience to relate to the different cultures portrayed within the play and the contrast between the Irish and African Culture. This extract emphasises the contrast between the two cultures and significantly represents the importance in ceremonies within both cultures and how it is an ultimate way of escaping. The play is set during the Lughnasa festival this is significant in the sense that when Father Jack returns from his time in Uganda the audience are able to compare the two different ways of life, rituals and ceremonies in Uganda and Ireland. Throughout the play, the sisters discuss the Lughnasa festival that they know only from a rumour. Kate forbids discussion of the ceremonies but curiosity still hovers. ...read more.


Father Jack mentions the sacrifice of a goat or other animals during the Ryanga festivals, up to the "great Goddess of the Earth", in order to cleanse the spirits of the tribe. The Lughnasa Festival involves, as we hear from rose, how they "drive cattle through the flames to drive the devil out of them". Dancing throughout this play is influenced by the festival also known as the Irish ceremony, this links into the crucial role that ceremony plays in Dancing at Lughnasa, Dancing is the play's central image for a contravention and violation of 'normal' reality. It is Friel's new expression of the secret life which before he had represented verbally but which we know in reality never formulates itself in words, even in the mind. The dancing is the play's opening activity; it represents a break and interruption within the usual routine, a ritualised suspension of everyday law and order. In the repressive climate of the 1930s, dancing was regarded with some suspicion as representing a species of moral decadence and a threat to the morals of the nation's youth. ...read more.


And so, like the Sweeney boy, Jack has 'gone native', attracted by ancient ritual and wordless ceremony. Jack's fall from Christian orthodoxy is synonymous with his loss of language "my vocabulary has deserted me", In Uganda 'women are eager to have love children', Jack informs a horrified Kate, this emphasises how different the two cultures are as in Ireland this is highly frowned upon. Ceremony plays a crucial part in the play, it effectively enables the audience to relate to the characters in the mundy household and also portrays how enclosed they are in their own beliefs it also creates sympathy for Father Jack as he is lost in translation. The ceremony in Uganda and the Lughnasa Festival emphasise how different the Irish and African cultures are and how they live in a relatively isolated rural community. Furthermore it also highlights the role that dancing plays in their lives and how it in other words can take over when language fails. The ceremony in fact involves the audience in 'two juxtaposed worlds: that of tribal Uganda with its own rhythms and ceremonies and rural Ireland clinging in folk memory to the vestiges of the pagan rites which are being stifled by the conventions of the 1930's catholic society. ...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 Brian Friel 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 Brian Friel essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    By close examination of Act 1, discuss the ways in which Friel explores the ...

    3 star(s)

    In favouring the language of English, it seems that Maire chooses to distance herself from her own community. This is furthermore reflected in her choice of words and language when she claims "God, some of you people aren't happy unless you're miserable and you'll not be content until your dead!"

  2. Comment on Friel's exploration of Anglo-Irish relations in this extract.

    Manus' monosyllabic replies to Yolland, 'so', 'thanks', create of tone of extreme dislike towards Yolland, who represents the English presence. In addition 'how's the work going?' has a tone of mocking sarcasm that suggests that Manus sees Yolland as an enemy.

  1. Free essay

    Tensions in act1

    The significance of this scene began to manifest itself because although the play itself does not say precisely that 'it is discussing and illustrating the significance of the play text and the characters to show how Ireland is loosing it's culture', instead this is portrayed to us through the lives

  2. The conflicts in

    The reader quickly notices that Maire wants her social status and her standards of living to rise and she sees that this will not be possible while being together with Manus. Therefore, she finds that the only chance to achieve her goals is by either going away or finding another man.

  1. The significance of language in any dramatic production, or indeed any piece of ...

    This is how absurd dramatists choose to express the "senselessness of the human condition", (Esslin, p24). The senselessness of the words spoken, the way in which they are strung together, the action that does or does not accompany them, signifies the urge to express something that cannot or should not be expressed using traditional dramatic conventions.

  2. Taking as your starting point pg.76 "Maire enters" to pg.78 "It didn't last long, ...

    The writer is almost hitting the audience with the hard reality of life, death and the inevitable failing of cross-cultural relationships. However, it could be argued that Friel is trying to demonstrate the similarities between Yolland and Maire. Although Yolland comes from an upper class English background, which is totally

  1. How are the characters and their relations established in Act one of Brian Friel's ...

    She says to Hugh, ' We should all be learning to speak English' By directly confronting her teacher with such a comment, when she knows that he is against the English language shows that Maire is very opiniated and is not afraid of speaking her mind.

  2. Commentary on Act 1 of the book Translations by Brian Friel.

    Bridget is a plump, fresh young girl and has a countrywoman's instinctive cunning. They represent young Ireland that needs preserving and is very loving. When Doalty enters he does an imitation of the master, 'Vesperal salutations to you all.' He is a practical joker and brings comedy to the play.

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