Untitled Essay Research Paper Sociopolitical Philosophy in — страница 3

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flaws and has the potential to cause more tragedy than the threats themselves. There are two characters in the play who represent conflicting energies. Conchubar is the wise elder and is considered to be superior to Cuchulain, and he represents obedience, law and enlightenment. Cuchulain is the ancient war hero who represents the strong, heroic and violent energies upon which Anglo-Ireland was founded. Cuchulain is a wild individual who is king over a certain area of land, and Conchubar pays him a visit to try to convince him to pledge his obedience to his lord and nation. After some time Cuchulain agrees to recognize Conchubar as his lord and thus subscribes to the rules of society. One may think that Cuchulain’s pledging allegiance to Conchubar would be beneficial for him and

his lord, as explained by Conchubar in his attempt to gain Cuchulain’s allegiance. “Will you be bound into obedience and so make this land safe for them and theirs? You are but half a king and I but half; I need your might of hand and burning heart, and you my wisdom” (29). Conchubar’s argument sounds reasonable, but as the reader finds out, Cuchulain’s pledge leads him into despair. Unknown to Cuchulain, he has a son whose mother is Aoife, a fierce warrior and leader of a rival nation. Aoife has trained her son to kill Cuchulain because she is angry that the boy’s father abandoned them. The Young Man, Cuchulain’s son, comes to his father and challenges him. Cuchulain does not want to battle him, because he feels a bond between them, as he says, “Put up your

sword; I am not mocking you. I’d have you for my friend, but if it’s not because you have a hot heart and a cold eye, I cannot tell the reason” (34). Despite the Young Man’s challenge, Cuchulain wants no part of the challenge, at least not until the boy is older and has more experience. Conchubar, however, reminds Cuchulain of his pledge, as he says: He has come hither not in his own name but in Queen Aoife’s, and has challenged us in challenging the foremost man of us all. . . You think it does not matter, and that a fancy lighter than the air, a whim of the moment, has more matter in it. For, having none that shall reign after you, you cannot think as I do, who would leave a throne too high for insult (35). Because Conchubar views this challenge as an insult to the

kingdom that Cuchulain has pledged his allegiance to, the heroic warrior is obligated to accept the challenge and avenge the insult. Even though Cuchulain has a natural bond with this foreigner, he eventually accepts the challenge and unwittingly kills his son. He soon learns the identity of the stranger, and as a result he goes insane and drowns while attacking waves in the ocean. If Cuchulain had not pledged allegiance to the civilized society, he would have been able to follow his natural energies and feelings, which would have kept him from murdering his son and going mad. Through this tragedy Yeats states that by suppressing or killing the natural instead of facing it or even embracing it, one can indeed become a member of a civilized society, but this is ultimately a tragic

condition, as the Fool observes while describing Cuchulain’s death to the Blind Man. “There, he is down! He is up again. He is going out in the deep water. There is a big wave. It has gone over him. I cannot see now. He has killed kings and giants, but the waves have mastered him, the waves have mastered him!” (43). In The Only Jealousy of Emer, Yeats further expresses his idea that suppressing or avoiding the demonic is not a way to solve the problems facing Ireland. He feels that Ireland is trying to lift itself out of its natural form and create an image of itself as an imaginative modernist society, but doing so will simply delay the inevitable only lead it into more despair and violence. Only by facing and experiencing the violent and demonic forces that threaten it

can Ireland emerge triumphantly over such challenges. The play continues from the end of On Baile’s Strand, and Cuchulain’s body has been retrieved from the water. His wife Emer and mistress, Eithne Inguba, are sitting at his bedside. Emer is confronted by the spirit of Bricriu, a demon whom Cuchulain will face in the afterlife. Bricriu explains that Emer can bring Cuchulain back to life if she renounces his love forever. At first Emer refuses to do this, but she finally does renounce his love because she can not bear to let Cuchulain go into the hands of the demons. In renouncing his love, Emer loses the only thing she ever had left, the hope of someday being reunited with her husband. When Cuchulain is revived, he states that Eithne Inguba is his true love, and Emer’s