Translations

by

Brian Friel

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Jimmy Jack Cassie Character Analysis

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. Jimmy Jack frequently recites Homer aloud, musing on the various proper translations of ancient Greek and the beauty of the goddess Athene. Though Jimmy Jack is initially a source of comic relief, at the end of the play he imagines marrying Athene and becomes despondent at his loneliness and isolation in the world. He represents nationalists who cling too closely to a mythic vision of the Irish past and, in doing so, are left behind by the inevitable wave of change overtaking the island.

Jimmy Jack Cassie Quotes in Translations

The Translations quotes below are all either spoken by Jimmy Jack Cassie or refer to Jimmy Jack Cassie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Translations published in 1995.
Act 1 Quotes

Maire: That's the height of my Latin. Fit me better if I had even that much English.

Jimmy: English? I thought you had some English?

Maire: Three words. Wait — there was a spake I used to have off by heart. What's this it was?

Her accent is strange because she is speaking a foreign language and because she does not understand what she is saying.

“In Norfolk we besport ourselves around the maypoll.” What about that!

Related Characters: Jimmy Jack Cassie (speaker), Maire Chatach (speaker)
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
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Translations PDF

Jimmy Jack Cassie Character Timeline in Translations

The timeline below shows where the character Jimmy Jack Cassie appears in Translations. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
...gestures and grunts. In the corner reading Homer in ancient Greek is “the Infant Prodigy” Jimmy Jack Cassie, an unmarried man in his sixties who wears heavy clothing and attends evening... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...Manus’ steady encouragement she is able to say, “my name is Sarah.” Both are joyous. Jimmy enthusiastically reads aloud from Homer in both Greek and English, telling the story of the... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
...was talking about his father, the school master. As he prepares the materials for class, Jimmy continues to read aloud, alternating between ancient Greek and English, stopping once to ask Manus... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
...having seen Maire harvesting hay. Maire ignores him and sits on a stool next to Jimmy. The two converse briefly in Latin, before Maire comments that she is even worse in... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...it up and moves it a few paces to confuse them and assert “a presence.” Jimmy recites Latin and Manus beats Doalty to translating it. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...a “consciousness” that is “at its ease and with its own conviction and assurance.” Hearing Jimmy Jack and Hugh talk about the ancient Greeks as if they lived locally made Yolland... (full context)
Act 3
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...and he decides to leave it where it is. He goes upstairs as Hugh and Jimmy Jack enter, both drunk. Hugh talks as if the class were full, calling on students... (full context)
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Hugh shouts for Manus to bring him tea. Jimmy says he is marrying Athene and he and Hugh jokingly talk about the wedding. Jimmy... (full context)
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Hugh looks at the sleeping Jimmy and reminisces about the twenty-three miles “to Sligo” they marched going into battle in 1798—both... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Jimmy has awoken and sits beside Maire. He explains that in Greek “endogamein” means “to marry... (full context)