Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: love or life

  1. #1
    Registered User ninawho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Question love or life

    Hi~ I am new and I'm J. M. Synge's fan, and I am here to ask some questions about Deirdre.

    I'm not an English native speaker, so when I ask, there may be some idioms or phrase which are no problem for you but can't-figure-it-out for me, and I don't even major in English...so, please forgive me if I ask stupid questions.

    OK, I've done apologizing...

    It did took me a while to get used to Synge's "peasant language," but there are still many lines I can't figure out the meaning.

    Here is the one:
    in Deirdre, act Ⅱ
    Deirdre told Naisi they are going back to Emain, and she said: "There are many ways to wither love as there are stars in a night of Samhain, but there is no way to keep life or love with it a short space only...It's for that there's nothing lonesome like a love is watching out the time most lovers do be sleeping...It's for that we're wetting out for Emain Macha when the tide turns on the sand."

    First of all, I don't quite understand what "there is no way to keep life or love with it a short space only" means. Does it mean that since life is short, so that love is short as well, or does it mean that love is easy to wither, but life (or death), above all, is the most destructive power?
    and, what does "a short space" indicate?

    Second of all, what does "there's nothing lonesome like a love is watching out the time most lovers do be sleeping" means? Does it mean that sleep waste time?? when you can use it to love...
    the more I read them, the more I'm confused about what these lines "generally" mean, not to say to "interpret" them.

    These lines are the turning point in act 2, and by these lines, Synge shifts the power of deciding whether they are going back to Emain from Naisi's hand to Deirdre's, but since that I can't really follow Deirdre's (or Synge's) thoughts, on what reason did she decide to go back and why, I really got lost in these metaphors and similes...

    I can feel that in Deirdre, Synge weaved so many dilemas and disappoints or wishes of his in real life into it, and so all the talking about love or life or death and seperation, can all be traced back to the similar situation of J. M. S. an Molly A.'s. And so that I think it is really important for me to make clear about this act Ⅱ...

    long question, haha. Thanks for anyone who would like to exchange opinions with me to.

    Nina

  2. #2
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Marino, Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    14,243
    Blog Entries
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by ninawho View Post
    Hi~ I am new and I'm J. M. Synge's fan, and I am here to ask some questions about Deirdre.

    I'm not an English native speaker, so when I ask, there may be some idioms or phrase which are no problem for you but can't-figure-it-out for me, and I don't even major in English...so, please forgive me if I ask stupid questions.

    OK, I've done apologizing...
    No need to apologise!
    It did took me a while to get used to Synge's "peasant language," but there are still many lines I can't figure out the meaning.

    Here is the one:
    in Deirdre, act Ⅱ
    Deirdre told Naisi they are going back to Emain, and she said: "There are many ways to wither love as there are stars in a night of Samhain, but there is no way to keep life or love with it a short space only...It's for that there's nothing lonesome like a love is watching out the time most lovers do be sleeping...It's for that we're wetting out for Emain Macha when the tide turns on the sand."

    First of all, I don't quite understand what "there is no way to keep life or love with it a short space only" means. Does it mean that since life is short, so that love is short as well, or does it mean that love is easy to wither, but life (or death), above all, is the most destructive power?
    and, what does "a short space" indicate?
    Second of all, what does "there's nothing lonesome like a love is watching out the time most lovers do be sleeping" means? Does it mean that sleep waste time?? when you can use it to love...
    the more I read them, the more I'm confused about what these lines "generally" mean, not to say to "interpret" them.
    It could do with the fact that Conchubor had sent an errand of peace to Naisi and his brother, who foolishly believed it, but deirdre fears their return and is trying to hint at him that there are many ways to kill love, and that by going back after only a short space in time together will kill either their love or their lives. Its because of this that she does be awake at night when she should be asleep in his arms, and thats the reason why they are their in Alba and not at home, fear for their lives.
    Hope that helps as a translation.
    These lines are the turning point in act 2, and by these lines, Synge shifts the power of deciding whether they are going back to Emain from Naisi's hand to Deirdre's, but since that I can't really follow Deirdre's (or Synge's) thoughts, on what reason did she decide to go back and why, I really got lost in these metaphors and similes...
    I think its more the fact that Naisi is so determind to return that she gives in and says "Okay then, lets go" and by saying they were returning she set the tide on the fail of their life together. If she had held out and refused, maybe he would have seen reason and stayed and when in the future if Conchubor asked for peace again it may very well have been the case. But she didnt, and they went to their deaths instead.

    I can feel that in Deirdre, Synge weaved so many dilemas and disappoints or wishes of his in real life into it, and so all the talking about love or life or death and seperation, can all be traced back to the similar situation of J. M. S. an Molly A.'s. And so that I think it is really important for me to make clear about this act Ⅱ...

    long question, haha. Thanks for anyone who would like to exchange opinions with me to.

    Nina
    What a very good point. there is a lot in the play that makes you think of his relationship with Molly Allgood. They had such a strange relationship, and in a sense he "hid" it from the frowning faces of his family who would have disaproved and tried to end it. In that sense there is a bit of him in Deirdre, where Naisi shows Mollys beliefs that all will be well and he was worrying over nothing. But in the end they too were seperated by death.
    There is a lot of confusion in the play, but that is mainly due to the fact that he had never finished it, and the play we love today was organised from drafts by Molly, W.B.Yeats and Lady Gregory. A final tribute to him.

    Deirdre is a very famous story in Ireland but Synge did really put his own stamp on the tragedy. It is probably my favourite of them all.
    hope some of this helps Nina.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

  3. #3
    Registered User ninawho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2
    Dear Niamh, interesting enough, I found that there are some points that we hold differently.

    I always hold the impression that in the first place, Naisi was the one who didn't want to go back to Emain, so Fergus was disappointed and angry, even blamed him for keeping Deirdre in Alban and made her not living in Emain as a queen in her luxury life. And only when Fergus pointed out that getting old and wearied might possibly destroy their love--which Deirdre accidentally eavesdropped, did Deirdre started thinking about getting old and getting tired of the life they had. And thatís why Deirdre become depress and give up fighting against the destiny which was foretold. I guess / assume that it's a kind of idea which goes like: "let's end itóif there really has to be one, when it is at its most glorious time."

    But when I think like that, Death became the only crucial reason for all the actionsódo you feel the same way? Or is there anything I missed in the play?

    Besides, I think youíve got a good point when you said: ďby going back after only a short space in time together will kill either their love or their lives. Its because of this that she does be awake at night when she should be asleep in his arms, ď

    I think it make senseÖ

    And I would like to know how do you think about what I said above? About Naisi did not decide but follow what Deirdreís desire?
    This difference (different from the general edition of this folklore) only made by Synge, as I read it, but I cannot positively sure about it.

    Honestly, Iím not that like this play at first. I prefer the PB and the Well, but after I read more and more about his life, the significance of Deirdre became clear.
    And now I like it very much.

    Youíve already helped me when you spent your time discussing this topic with me, itís really great to have someone who can understand what Iím talking about to discuss with.

    BTW, I don't know how to quote reply like you...

  4. #4
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Marino, Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    14,243
    Blog Entries
    118
    I'll admit! its been a long while since i read it. I read other versions since so i might be getting mixed up!

    I'll read it again to refresh my memory and think that bit through again...
    Last edited by Niamh; 12-11-2008 at 12:37 PM.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    46
    HI guys,

    Great to see discussion about one of the masters of Irish literature.

    I think the main interest of this play is the question of youth verses age. By dying young the lovers will preserve their youth, will never age and grow old like those who choose to live. It's the age old notion of 'better to burn out than to fade away' also expressed by James Joyce in the Dead when Gabriel thinks, 'better pass boldly into that other realm, in the full glory of some passion rather than wither and fade dismally with age'. It's also addressed in the old Irish legend of Tir na nOg which translates as Land of (Eternal) Youth.

    What interests me most about this play is that it continues Synge's preference for those who live on the outskirts of society or in the wilderness -his plays are full of tramps, travellers and outcasts. Closely connected with this is his love of the countryside and the natural world which is nothing new to Irish Literature. Synge revere's the natural world / wilderness while the house and hearth, the village, all of society seems to leave him cold, except in the Playboy which seems to reverse the notion as the outsider (Christy) is drawn into the pub which represents society.

    What do you think?

    David














    David
    Last edited by David R; 07-29-2009 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Marino, Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    14,243
    Blog Entries
    118
    Welcome to the boards Dave! its great to see another Synge fan.
    I know exactly what you mean about his plays boardering the outskirts. It was one of the reasons people objected to many of his plays... they werent the patriotic preformances they wanted during that period of irish history, but he continued to write them anyway.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

Similar Threads

  1. Mr Rochester...
    By kiki1982 in forum Jane Eyre
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 02-17-2011, 10:37 AM
  2. Love and Relationships # 5
    By Biggus in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-17-2009, 09:23 AM
  3. Love and Relationships # 1
    By Biggus in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-17-2009, 09:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •