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Literary genres like the story story and poetry have the ability to elicit an emotional response in readers. Yet it is only drama that has the power to make people feel emotion in an overwhelming way. This is made evident in Synge's play Riders to the Sea. One of the characters, the mother Maurya, easily conveys a series of sorrowful emotions because of the tragedies she experiences. For example, at the beginning of the play, she is mourning the loss of her family. She feels to sad that she even has difficulty sleeping. She sleeps “if she is able,” Synge writes, and because the audience is able to see her posture, tears, and face, they are able to feel a more overwhelming response than if they were simply reading the play. Maurya's emotion also comes through at the end of the play when she grieves the loss of her sons. However, she leaves the audience on an almost hopeful note when she shares her acceptance of her lot in life. She says, “no man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied.” This sentence is intended to move the audience by helping them understand that this character will survive.
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