S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Ways of Seeing

The play can be seen as a commentary on the dangers of imperialism and the destruction of a culture through brutal colonialism; it is also about a search for belonging and a sense of home. It can be seen to be concerned with the effect of political situations on the general population of a country, and the conflict between the personal and the political as personified through Owen and Yolland. It is an exploration of how language defines who we are and how we interact with the world and each other. It tries to represent an Ireland that is neither overly romantic, nor overly gritty, though elements of both are present. It is a play about love and friendship, duty and authority, and the past, present and future.


Copyright S-cool Cares for people at the beginning of the play.
Copyright S-cool Intelligent and educated.
Copyright S-cool Runs away at the end.
Copyright S-cool Lacks ambition and vision.
Copyright S-cool Friendly with everyone.
Copyright S-cool Takes Manus' place at the end in caring for Sarah and Hugh.
Copyright S-cool Betrays Ireland with the English.
Copyright S-cool Ran away for six years, like Manus does at the end.
Copyright S-cool Wants to learn Irish and understand the people.
Copyright S-cool Doubts moral validity of what he is doing.
Copyright S-cool Overly romantic about Ireland and its language.
Copyright S-cool Cannot face up to authority.
Copyright S-cool Agrees to help Maire at the end.
Copyright S-cool Uses Manus and blatantly prefers Owen.
Copyright S-cool Sometimes pretentious.

Major Areas of Study

Language and power...

Language and communication...

Language and identity (both cultural and individual)...


Friendship and love...

The past and mythology...


Sample Questions

  1. Why do you think that Friel gave his play the title Translations?

  2. The play is set in 1833. How does Friel make its themes relevant to a modern day audience?

  3. Do you agree that Translations is more concerned with the fate of individuals than the fate of nations?

  4. "The play is about the characters' search for their true identities." Do you agree?