Riders to the Sea

Townspeople Character Analysis

Various townspeople—primarily old men and old women—enter the family’s cottage at the end of the play as part of the procession bringing Bartley’s body back from the shore. The women explain what has happened to Bartley and keen over him, and Cathleen asks one of the old men to help make Bartley’s coffin. Most of these townspeople are old, which underscores the fact that it’s only young men who seem to be dying, even though the young are usually expected to outlive the old.
Get the entire Riders to the Sea LitChart as a printable PDF.
Riders to the sea.pdf.medium

Townspeople Character Timeline in Riders to the Sea

The timeline below shows where the character Townspeople appears in Riders to the Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Spirituality and Mourning Theme Icon
Fate and Mortality Theme Icon
Age and Gender Theme Icon
The Power of the Sea Theme Icon
...have died on the sea, Nora and Cathleen hear someone crying out on the seashore. Old women begin to come into the house and kneel down. Maurya asks Cathleen who has died... (full context)
Spirituality and Mourning Theme Icon
Fate and Mortality Theme Icon
The Power of the Sea Theme Icon
However, it is in fact Bartley who has died. More townspeople enter the cottage, and Bartley’s body is carried in on a plank with a bit... (full context)
Spirituality and Mourning Theme Icon
Fate and Mortality Theme Icon
Age and Gender Theme Icon
The Power of the Sea Theme Icon
The women who have gathered in the cottage begin to keen. As she anoints Bartley with Holy... (full context)