Riders to the Sea

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Riders to the Sea published in 1993.
Act 1 Quotes

“I won’t stop him,” says he, “but let you not be afraid. Herself does be saying prayers half through the night, and the Almighty God won’t leave her destitute,” says he, “with no son living.”

Related Characters: Nora (speaker), Maurya, Bartley, The Young Priest
Page Number: 62
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It’s a hard thing they’ll be saying below if the body is washed up and there’s no man in it to make the coffin, and I after giving a big price for the finest white boards you’d find in Connemara.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Michael
Related Symbols: The White Boards
Page Number: 63
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If it was a hundred horses, or a thousand horses you had itself, what is the price of a thousand horses against a son where there is one son only?

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Bartley, Michael
Related Symbols: Bartley’s Horses
Page Number: 63
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It’s the life of a young man to be going on the sea, and who would listen to an old woman with one thing and she saying it over?

Related Characters: Cathleen (speaker), Maurya, Bartley
Page Number: 64
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In the big world the old people do be leaving things after them for their sons and children, but in this place it is the young men do be leaving things behind for them that do be old.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Michael
Page Number: 65
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And isn’t it a pitiful thing when there is nothing left of a man who was a great rower and fisher, but a bit of an old shirt and a plain stocking?

Related Characters: Nora (speaker), Michael
Page Number: 66
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He went by quickly; and “the blessing of God on you,” says he, and I could say nothing. I looked up then, and I crying, at the gray pony, and there was Michael upon it—with fine clothes on him, and new shoes on his feet.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Bartley, Michael
Related Symbols: Bartley’s Horses
Page Number: 68
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There does be a power of young men floating round in the sea, and what way would they know if it was Michael they had, or another man like him, for when a man is nine days in the sea, and the wind blowing, it’s hard set his own mother would be to say what man was it.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Michael
Page Number: 69
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It isn’t that I haven’t prayed for you, Bartley, to the Almighty God. It isn’t that I haven’t said prayers in the dark night till you wouldn’t know what I’d be saying; but it’s a great rest I’ll have now, and it’s time surely.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Bartley
Page Number: 70
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Michael has a clean burial in the far north, by the grace of the Almighty God. Bartley will have a fine coffin out of the white boards, and a deep grave surely. What more can we want than that? No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied.

Related Characters: Maurya (speaker), Bartley, Michael
Related Symbols: The White Boards
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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