Translations

Love as Presented by Brian Friel and Louis MacNiece 12th Grade

This essay will examine the scene in which Maire and Yolland finally kiss from Brian Friel’s play “Translations” and the poem “Meeting Point” by Louis MacNeice to discuss how both authors present love as something which transcends universal boundaries: in Friel it transcends the boundaries of language and words; and in MacNeice, it transcends the boundaries of time and space. The transcendence is therefore more human in Friel, and more physical in MacNeice. Both writers use repetition to present their ideas. In Friel, the repetition is light-hearted and connects the characters Maire and Yolland, despite their failure to communicate in any conventional sense. In MacNeice, the repetition interrupts the flow of time, suggesting that love has suspended its relentless passage.

The repetition in the scene from “Translations” initially creates a painful, circular linguistic pattern, showing the characters’ plight to be trapped in a state of uncommunicative and inconsequential dialogue. Characters repeat themselves (“Earth…Earth”, “George…George”) and they repeat each other’s phrases (“O my God…O my God”, “Say anything at all. I love the sound of your speech…Say anything at all. I love the sound of your speech”). Whilst this repetition...

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