Dancing At Lughnasa Essay

1938 Words8 Pages
The Many Faces of Dance in Rural Ireland – Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa Undoubtedly, dance is deeply rooted in Irish culture. This connection is portrayed by the Irish dramatist Brian Friel in Dancing at Lughnasa, where it has a crucial role. The play depicts the daily lives of five sisters from the point of view of Michael, the son of one of them. In his dramatic narrative, he describes a number of events in which dancing is present in some form. At first glance, the function of dance in the story appears uncomplicated – it serves as a form of entertainment for the sisters – yet on close analysis, it is noticeable that is only one of many. Since the ancient times, dancing was one of the simplest ways of enjoyment available to humans,…show more content…
In the Bellybag, the place of broken dreams, where people struggle to make a living, dancing takes away the pain of having no career prospects, being alone and not satisfied with life. This is especially true for the sisters, as not even one of them has a successful life or even a husband. For instance, Maggie – the most cheerful character in the play, who often makes jokes – while she is not giving away her sadness directly, the reader can feel a certain sense of longing for youth. Dance reminds her of the competitions she used to take part in when she was young. She misses being admired and also, she is tired of living mundane life, without any joy or reward for the hard work. Obviously, she sees dance as the means to escape her duties and woes and she is the one who initiated dance in few scenes, for example at the beginning, when she managed to make all sisters dance, even Kate, who was the most reluctant. She is not waiting to be asked for a dance and takes the opportunity to asks Gerry to dance, too. Rose, the most naïve of the Mundy, thinks that the invitation for the Lughnasa dance is a proof for being loved by Danny, one of the local men, who is already married. She misinterprets her sisters’ concern as jealously. Agnes, who has the closest emotional connection with Rose, and is the one who worries about her the most, is downcast for the most part, yet in dance she shows true happiness. As for Kate, who keeps all her feelings hidden under her cold demeanour and who protests against dancing, it is the source of a conflict. On the one hand, it is sometimes visible that she also secretly wants to dance, yet her experience, religion and bitter character makes her think, it is

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