Brian Friel

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Translations Characters


Hugh’s elder son and Owen’s brother, Manus, works as an unpaid assistant to his father and occasionally steps in as teacher at the hedge school in Baile Beag. He is in his late… read analysis of Manus


A waif-like woman who could be anywhere from seventeen to thirty-five years old, with a speech impediment so severe that she communicates primarily through gestures and grunts. Manus teaches her to say her name at… read analysis of Sarah

Jimmy Jack Cassie

Nicknamed the “Infant Prodigy,” Jimmy Jack is a bachelor in his sixties who is fluent in Latin and ancient Greek and attends classes at the Baile Beag hedge school for the company and intellectual stimulation… read analysis of Jimmy Jack Cassie

Maire Chatach

The local milkmaid, Maire is a “strong-minded, strong-bodied” woman in her twenties with curly hair; her surname, in fact, literally means “curly-haired.” She is a student at the hedge school and is initially betrothed to… read analysis of Maire Chatach


An “open-minded, open-hearted” student at the Baile Beag hedge school in his twenties, who arrives to class with Bridget. In one of the play’s first suggestions of Irish resentment towards the British, Doalty tells… read analysis of Doalty
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Another student at the Baile Beag hedge school her twenties. She is described as a plump, vain, yet good-natured person with “a countrywoman’s cunning.” She is learning to write and tells the other students the… read analysis of Bridget


The master of the hedge school and Manus and Owen’s father, Hugh is described as a large, dignified yet shabbily dressed man in his early sixties who drinks heavily but never appears drunk. He… read analysis of Hugh


Hugh’s younger son and Manus’ brother is in his twenties, handsome, and charming. Having left Baile Beag six years earlier, the bilingual Owen found great success as a businessman in Dublin. At the… read analysis of Owen

Captain Lancey

Captain Lancey is a middle-aged British soldier and the cartographer for the Ordnance Survey. He is more at ease with maps than people, and initially address the residents of Baile Beag as if they were… read analysis of Captain Lancey

Lieutenant Yolland

The shy, gangling Lieutenant Yolland is a British soldier in his late twenties to early thirties and works with Owen to anglicize Irish place names throughout Baile Beag. Unlike his colleague Captain Lancey, Yolland… read analysis of Lieutenant Yolland