Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Riders to the Sea” as Want to Read:
Riders to the Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Riders to the Sea

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  975 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Large Format for easy reading. Although from a middle-class Protestant background, Synge's writings are mainly concerned with the world of the Roman Catholic peasants of rural Ireland. He is best known for his play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots in Dublin. His experiences on the Aran islands were to form the basis for many of his plays, including Ride ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Dodo Press (first published January 1st 1970)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Riders to the Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Riders to the Sea

Macbeth by William ShakespeareHamlet, Prince of Denmark by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildePygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Best British and Irish Plays
52nd out of 126 books — 64 voters
Peter Pan by J.M. BarrieThe Cherry Orchard by Anton ChekhovThe Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix PotterThe Sea Wolf by Jack London
Best of 1904
8th out of 22 books — 26 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,608)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Adriano Abreu
Apr 21, 2016 Adriano Abreu rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
Neste último semestre da universidade, na cadeira de Literatura estamos a ler teatro. por fim uma coisa diferente, que ainda não sei se é bom ou mau. com certeza uma experiência. Para além de Yeats, também tivemos a oportunidade de poder ler uma peça de John M. Synge, neste caso, Riders to the Sea .

Esta peça está cheia de dramatismo e um clima bastante tenso e misterioso. o que me parace plaúsivel pelos factos que acontecem ao longo da mesma. E em algum momento nuances de sobrenatural. Riders t
Lies Tangalayuk
Mar 30, 2015 Lies Tangalayuk rated it really liked it

I've read this play in university but I couldn't remember the title. After intruding on Google by putting some keywords trial, I finally found it and re-read it. "Riders to the Sea" from now on will never be dismissed from my mind.

The story tells about Maurya who has lost her husband, father-in-law, and five sons to the sea. As the play begins Nora and Cathleen (Maurya's daughters) receive word that a body that may be their brother Michael has washed up on shore in Donegal, far to the north. Aft
Dec 11, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
It is undeniable that J.M. Synge was a very important Irish playwright of the early 20th century. These plays, especially, "Playboy of the Western World," are pivotal to Irish literature, and now, Irish culture. Any serious student of British drama, or actor should read both of these plays.
On the other hand, it may not be an ideal idea for someone that does not fall into one of those two catagories. The dialectic style is very thick, and at times difficult to understand. "Playboy," an important
Paula Soper
Oct 29, 2011 Paula Soper rated it it was amazing
How much better could live possibly be? I get to read Irish plays and discuss them with students. Life is grand!

Riders to the Sea is a gorgeous play. The performance by Druid is superb (thanks, Zan!).

جابر طاحون
Jul 03, 2015 جابر طاحون rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: مسرح

جون سينج كاتب مسرحي أيرلندي و أحد أهم أعمدة الأدب الأيرلندي مع ييتس و السيدة جريجوري و أعمالهم هي التي حجزت مكانة للأدب الأيرلندي عند عمل الثلاثة علي إدراة المسرح القومي الأيرلندي ( آبي )
المسرحية صورة لصراع الطبيعة _ في المطلق _ و الإنسان و تسليمه بالقدر . تراجيديا مختلفة عن " أجامنون " أو أوديب" التراجيديات التقليدية التي يظهر فيها البطل ضحية القدر أو تحت وطأة لعنة الآلهة .
د.ه.لورانس قال عن المسرحية :" إنها أعظم التراجيديات بعد شكسبير "
Jan 28, 2016 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, owned
Really 3 stars and 4 stars for the full cast LibriVox recording (the last play in a collection of one act plays found here).

I read this extremely short one act play (contained in the book Five Great Modern Irish Plays) while listening to the LibriVox recording. The Irish voices of the cast helped bring the play to life for me. The play itself is very sad, about a woman who (view spoiler)
Aug 19, 2012 Shriya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind reading between the lines
I was first introduced to Riders to the Sea by my mother, who actually took me to the performance when I was barely ten years old. The performance still haunts me and for me, Maurya would always be that petite, black-haired girl of eighteen, artificially made older through make-up and Bartley would always be the guy, who has evolved into a much older man now and who I keep bumping into in every other wedding.

A lot of other readers would probably find Synge's writing a little difficult but I th
Aug 12, 2012 Zohour rated it it was ok
امتلكت هذه المسرحية بطبعتها المترجمة عن طريق دكتورة الشعر د. منيرة المهاشير
هذه القصه تعلمنا ان الاقدار حاصله ولاسبيل لمجاهبتها ، وانه لابد من الإستسلام لها . موريا المرأة الاربعينيه التي فقدت ابنائها الاربعه ، زوجها وابيه غرقاً .. تظهر كعجوز مسنه من شدة الأسى علي فقدان من احبتهم ، واثناء المسرحيه تفقد خامس ابنائها بارلتي لتبقي وحيده مع ابنتيها كاثلين ونورا ...
البحر في القصه يرمز للقدر .. يعيش ابطال المسرحيه علي شواطئ ايرلندا ومجبرين علي ركوب البحر وكأن التهام البحر لبارلتي ومايكل والبقيه كا
Zerin Hasan
Mar 29, 2014 Zerin Hasan rated it really liked it
A tragic one act play..


An Irish mother lost her husband and Six sons one by one for fishing.. Living near the sea-shore, their family income was fully depended on it for a long time.. In play we found Maurya mourning on her Micheal's (fifth son) death and warning Bartley (sixth) to not go to sea.. But Bartley being young,brave - without listening to his mother's words dared to go and came back as lifeless dead......

A mother's love, and pain for her children lose can only be felt by another mothe
Rao Javed
May 13, 2016 Rao Javed rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays

Well, this play was really boring. I wont touch it ever again. x""D
Mar 08, 2013 Phillip rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
First, I didn't read this particular edition of the play.

I think Riders to the Sea is good, but I would prefer to see it acted rather than to read it. I feel like a lot of the play depends on the emotions of the actors, the performances, and I struggled to get a good sense of how the emotions would play. Also, based on the introductory material I read, the play has a strong element of atmosphere and foreboding, which of course is not felt when one is reading (though one can get a sense of the fo
In place of earlier stories about guys who go on sea adventures, this is a drama about the women who were left behind, forced to grieve the loss of fathers, husbands, and sons, and powerless to do anything about it. In place of earlier London comedies containing one-dimensional and often foolish Irish characters, and recent literary revivals with arguably over-idealized Irishness, this drama portrayed the rural poor of Ireland with a clear range of personalities and feelings as they attempt to p ...more
Zohoor Al-masoud
Jun 22, 2015 Zohoor Al-masoud rated it it was ok
『 المسرحيه ممكن تحمل معنى وفكره بس قصتها بارده 』 ...more
May 18, 2012 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I had a hard time with the dialect but the sense of loss and anguish was palatable. It is only 18 pages long. I found his The Aran Islands compelling and equally tragic. It is a play that stays with you. I am longing to hear it (or see it performed) rather than read it.
amani Razeen
الترجمة رديئة بشكل مبالغ فيه
Rakanjana Sen
Dec 02, 2013 Rakanjana Sen rated it liked it
After reading “Riders” I felt it is a drama for purely scholastic purposes. The story got over too soon and failed to leave the awed or brooding after taste I sort of expected. We enter a scene in the middle of the room and there is an elucidating conversation. You get a certain idea and there is the build up, but all too soon the climax comes and before I could even absorb that, the play is over.

The brevity of the play is not a problem, but I felt the dialogues lacked a certain passion and gri
Edward Cheer
May 20, 2016 Edward Cheer rated it liked it
I honestly wish I had more to say about this play than what I've already planned, but I do plan to read this play again, as I feel like I could do more justice by reviewing it again sometime in the future.

I read this from my massive Masters of Modern Drama book mainly because of how short it was (much like The Intruder), and from what I read in this very short play, I got a sense of the relationship between women and the man in their household during Synge's time. While Bartley only appears shor
Swarnadeep Banik
Jul 15, 2015 Swarnadeep Banik rated it really liked it
Shelves: playthings
actually, i finished this book three years back but forgot to add in the booklist. yes, memory deceives. i suddenly reminded of this play while reading joyce's "ulysses" where there is a character called synge. memory does the trick. and, i reminded of the book, suddenly. *grins*

p.s. i am so much thankful to "ulysses" for many reasons. this is one of them, to say the least one. *grins*
بسام عبد العزيز
الأم المفجوعة في زوجها و أولادها تظل طوال صفحات المسرحية تندب حظها في أولادها.. تظل تتحدث عن البحر الذي يأخذ كل من تحب واحدا بعد الآخر...

كانت مضجرة بشكل لامحدود!!
لا أعلم لماذا.. هل لأن المأساة كانت تبدو مفتعلة مع وجود "خمسة أبناء و زوج" دفعة واحدة ماتوا في البحر ؟؟
أم لأن المرأة كانت تتحدث كثيرا و تقول نفس الكلام؟؟
لا أعلم.. و لا أهتم أن أعلم!
Nov 11, 2014 Shaina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I have read this play several times. Most recently I read it for my directing class. I had to do some pretty heavy analysis of it. The play is sometimes a bit too heavy for my taste. There is almost no lightness at any point in the play. However, the sense of loss is strong. And the play is so thoroughly Irish that you just can't help but to love it.
Amna C
Mar 28, 2016 Amna C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In the big world the old people do be leaving things after them for their sons and children, but in this place it is the young men do be leaving things behind for them that do be old."

A one-act Tragedy. Makes you feel so small in this world where on one hand you live comfortably and on the other is a family fearing death everyday.
R A Lynch
Jun 25, 2016 R A Lynch rated it really liked it
The tragic story of loss. The natural elements win the battle waged by prayers and pagan rituals. The sea and wind are no match for man. And women are left behind alone to grieve. And have no more need for prayer when all hope is gone.
Jul 19, 2014 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
The writing is beautiful in this short one act play but since I'm fairly new to the world of plays, I don't think I fully appreciated it. I'm sure I'll look back on this review in a few years and kick myself for giving three stars.
Loretta Fanning
Jun 26, 2016 Loretta Fanning rated it really liked it
I think it is a very dramatic story of what happens when you make your living from the sea. From what I've heard the Irish Sea is very wild and unforgiving.It also tells how the Irish who have "the sight" foretell how a disaster will happen. It is the story of how much one family has lost to the sea, a husband, a father six sons and six brothers in the case of the daughters.
Ahmad Tareq
Sep 09, 2016 Ahmad Tareq rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
المسرحية عنوان المجموعة متأثرتش بها.

"قبل الإفطار" ليوجين أونيل و"أعداء" لنيث بويس وهتشنس هبجود و"خطاب اللورد بايرون الغرامي" لتينيسي ويليامز و"رحلة سعيدة" لثورنتون وايلدر- مسرحيات جميلة جدا.
Dava Tuttle
Jun 14, 2016 Dava Tuttle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was required reading for my theatre history class. I'm glad that it was very short. But alternatively it was also very powerful.
Sep 28, 2016 Courtney rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jais jaya
Jun 30, 2014 Jais jaya rated it it was amazing
a very touching drama.... Maurya is an universal mother, revealing the pain ad grief of every mother who's lost her child/children.....
Merve Özcan
May 19, 2012 Merve Özcan rated it liked it
MAURYA,yaşlı bir kadın
NORA, daha genç bir kızı
:Kadınalr ve Erkekler

Dili biraz ağırdı.Bir süre sonra alışıyordunuz.Alıştıktan sonra gayet akıcı ve hoş bir oyundu.Karakterlerin ölüme ne kadar alışkın ve aynı zamanda ne kadar yabancı olduklarını okuyordunuz. Bir ailede ölen 8 erkek, bir annenin 6 oğlunu kaybetmesi ve en sonunda ise kadere boyun bükmesi, çok sade ve etkileyici bir biçimde anlatılmıştı.

Balıkçı bir ailenin denize verdiği 8 kurban en sonuncusu ise traji kom
Ryan Gibson
Dec 10, 2014 Ryan Gibson rated it really liked it
Sad. But real. Very reflective of a story that could be true. A snippet of someone's life.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cathleen Ni Houlihan
  • The Plough and the Stars
  • By the Bog of Cats - Acting Edition
  • Philadelphia, Here I Come!
  • The Hairy Ape
  • Machinal
  • The American Dream
  • The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea & Heart of the Earth: A Popul Vuh Story
  • Krapp's Last Tape and Other Dramatic Pieces
  • Lear
  • The Weir
  • The Caretaker
  • The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes
  • The Chairs
  • The Revenger's Tragedy
  • Biloxi Blues
  • Pygmalion & Major Barbara
Edmund John Millington Synge (pronounced /sɪŋ/) was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, and collector of folklore. He was one of the cofounders of the Abbey Theatre. He is best known for the play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots during its opening run at the Abbey theatre. Synge wrote many well known plays, including "Riders to the Sea", which is often considered to be his ...more
More about J.M. Synge...

Share This Book