The Rising of the Moon- Lady Gregory
‘The Rising of the Moon’ is a story about a ballad singer and a police officer (Sergeant). The ballad singer was a disguised revolutionary hero of Ireland. He brought a change in the Sergeant. Though the Sergeant was a loyal worker of the English government, he gave a chance to the singer to escape.
At the beginning of the drama, three men, a sergeant and two junior assistants, were distributing flyers. It was an advertisement offering a sum of one hundred pounds to capture the fugitive prisoner. It was seen that the Sergeant was tempted to arrest the revolutionary hero to win the reward of one hundred pounds.
After same time a ragged man came there. The man acted as an entertaining ballad singer, but in reality, he was the fugitive prisoner. Both the ballad singer and the Sergeant were talking to each other. During their talk, the ballad singer sang a revolutionary ballad. Here the prisoner, who was disguised Irish hero, was trying to awaken in the Sergeant feelings of Irish unity and patriotism. In the course of singing, the ballad singer deliberately missed some lines, which were supplied by the Sergeant. From this instance, it became clear that the Sergeant had also nationalistic and rebellions sentiments. But these sentiments of rebellion on the part of the Sergeant were stunted by his occupational loyalty to the English government.
At the end the Sergeant understood the reality of the prisoner. But he decided to allow the prisoner to leave and escape. His patriotism won over his duty.
The Title – The Rising of the Moon
The title ‘The rising of the Moon’ comes from a popular old rebel song that pointed to the rising of the moon as the signal for the rising of peoples against oppression.
The main characters of the play represent the two opposing forces in Ireland: freedom struggle and patriotism, personified by the ballad singer (a Ragged Man) and law and order, represented by the Sergeant.