In her ecstasy she really enjoys humiliating Shawn Keogh and when Christy chases him out she passionately announces to her father: ‘Bless us now, for I swear to God I’ll wed him, and I’ll not renege’. Never does the Widow’s language take on the venomous tone and brutal imagery of Pegeen’s, though she can hurt when she wants to: Pegeen she says is ‘a girl you’d see itching and scratching – with a stale stink of poteen on her’. The hero becomes the victim who is to be sacrificed for the people. Its resounding effect on the characters in question controlled the dynamic of the piece. All heroes must be put to the test: it is a feature of the epic poem that the hero must prove his prowess and strength in epic combat. #625Lab. The local response to Christy’s appearance on the scene highlight for us the drabness of such rural living, where the imagination has been starved, and there is longing for some excitement. This episode shows what an important role she has in the play: her main function is to initiate action and to keep it going. The Act ends with Christy half-reassured that he has bribed the Widow into silence, and off he goes to his greatest test as hero, indeed the traditional test of all heroes. Cuchulainn woos Emer against her father’s wishes. When we first meet Christy it is by way of report. • Directed by Alan Gibson.
There is no limit to his courage and confidence now. With a few direct personal questions she has found out from him all about his background, his father, and the reason for the ‘gallous deed’. (How does she assert herself?).
For a short while she does fancy herself as a rival to Pegeen, and the only ‘fault’ in her character is that she underestimates the strength of Christy’s love for Pegeen, it is a love to which she could never aspire. A Woman of Action: Understands Human Nature. Already, we learn of his self-motivation to fix his problems and the factor of his attempted patricide feeds into his migration, to escape the consequences. She has no fear of authority, ecclesiastical or civil: ‘Stop tormenting me with Father Reilly’ she sneers at Shawn, and ‘Daneen Sullivan knocked the eye from a peeler’ shows her admiration for one with courage enough to stand up to and get the better of authority. This he passionately rejects with the infamous line – ‘What’d I care if you brought me a drift of chosen females, standing in their shifts’ – (Cue: Riots!). She deals with the three principal male characters in one short period: she barters with Shawn Keogh for her services in rescuing Pegeen from Christy, she flatters Christy, and then she coaxes Old Mahon into leaving but not before getting information about Christy from him.
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