Chapter 4.2 The Rising of the Moon


Chapter 4.2 The Rising of the Moon

Textbook Questions and Answers


Question 1.
There are some dialogues which are short, but quite effective. They give us enjoyment and add beauty to the main story. Find some more from the text. (Answers are given directly in bold)




Comment on the given statement after reading the given dialogue.

Question (a)
“And if we get him itself, nothing but abuse on our heads for it from the people, and may be from our own relations”.

We don’t think of our society at large. If we catch the prisoner, Irish people will abuse us. They expect us to cooperate with the patriots as they are our own people. If we do not catch the escaped prisoner, the British Government will abuse us. In any case if we catch the prisoner or do not catch anyhow we are the one who are going to be abused.

Question (b)
“It’s a pity some honest man not to be better of that”.

It was a good opportunity for the sergeant to show his honesty to the Britishers. He wanted to catch the escaped prisoner and also to get the reward.

Question (c)
“I wouldn’t be in your shoes if he reward me ten times as much. People generally fall victim to incentives. Some people stick to values”.

Those who stick to values and are not templed at all, are the people of principles. Such people don’t betray anyone. They are very brave and loyal.

Question (d)
“But when I saw a man in trouble, I could never help trying to set him out of it. It’s human to help others”.

The sergeant was alone in the dangerous dark night. The man wanted to help the sergeant to keep a watch. He told the sergeant that he would help him in his task and would not demand any share in the reward that the sergeant gets for catching the escaped prisoner.

Question (ii)
The priorities of the sergeant are shifted. Complete the given table by using the given clues.

Priorities of the Sergeant in the beginning

Priorities at the end of the play

Law and duty


To Catch the escaped prisoner

Sympathised the prisoner

Question (iii)
Find the sentence from the play selected to the given points.

a. Loyalty in Irish nationalism.

(a) “May be Sergeant, you’ll be on the side of the country yet”.
(b) “I have my duties and I know them”.
(c) “I am in the force”.
(d) “We have to do our duty in the force”.

b. Tension between different loyalties.

(a) “It’s little we get but abuse from the people, and no choice but to obey our orders”.
(b) ‘You won’t betray me… the friend of Granuaile”.
(c) “May be Sergeant, it comes into your head sometimes, in spite of your belt and your tunic, that it might have been as well for you to have followed Granuaile”.
(d) “Stop that that’s no song to be singing in these times”.


The description of the character is given below. Identify the character from the play. Find some sentences which support your choice.

Question (a)
He is a brave but irresponsible person.

The character is sergeant.
(Brave) (a) “I don’t want it. Bring it with you, He is irresponsible”.
(b) Sergeant (after a pause) – no one.

Question (b)
He is a major character. He dominates the story.

The character is the man. ,
(Major) (a) “I know well the man you are waiting for”.
(Dominate) (b) “Will you let me pass or must I make you let me?”

Question (c)
He is smart as well as brave.

The character is the man.
(Smart) (a) “Back to the town isn’t it?”
(Brave) (b) “You need’nt ask me who I am, that placard will tell you”.

Question (d)
He is the centre of the play.

The character is sergeant.
(a) “Am I as great a fool as I think I am?”
(b) “Indeed it’s a hard thing to be in the force, out at night and no thanks for it, for all the danger we’re in. And it’s little we get but abuse from the people, and no choice but to obey our orders, and never asked when a man is sent into danger”.

Question (e)
He is obedient and simple.

The answer is the policeman B.
(Obedient) (a) “You bade us to come back here and keep watch with you”.
(Simple) (b) ‘You might want it. There are clouds coming up and you have the darkness of the night before you.”

Important Questions and Answers

Character Analysis:

Question 1.
Write your opinion about the man and the sergeant.

The sergeant plays an important character and grips the audience’s attention. He is basicallyan Irish man, however, his duty requires him to serve the British and go against his own country. In the beginning of the play, he is in need of money. He is eager to arrest the prisoner who has escaped the gaol and get the reward of hundred pounds. He is seen as a loyal police officer under the British Government. His words, “The whole country depends on us to keep law and order”, is inspiring. However, his character undergoes a change as the play proceeds.

He develops arrogance and begins to argue with the ragged man. When the ragged man begins to sing patriotic ballads, the sergeant’s behaviour suddenly turns patriotic and reminds him of the days when he used to indulge in freeing Ireland from the chains of the Britishers. Towards the end of the play we see the sacrificing behaviour of the sergeant as he sacrifices his reward and promotion by not arresting the prisoner. He is shown to be less intelligent than the ragged man but soft-hearted. However, he then asks himself, “I wonder, now, am I as great a fool as I think I am?” As audience, we can term him foolish but also call him a great patriot.

On the other hand, the ragged man in the play is having heroic qualities as he is smart and a passionate lover of his country. He introduces himself as a ballad singer and also touches the heart of the police officer by singing love and patriotic ballads. He is so perfect in making-up his identity that the policeman (sergeant) cannot suspect him until he reveals his identity. He intelligently brings out stories from the sergeant which proves his wittiness.

He succeeds in bringing out the feelings of patriotism from the sergeant, turns himself into a friend of the sergeant and escapes safely from being imprisoned again. But before escaping, he expresses gratitude to the sergeant with a note of optimism. He promises him to pay back his good turn. He is optimistic and tells that a day will surely come that Ireland will be free from the British rules.

Reference To Context:

Comment on the given statement after reading the given dialogue.

Question 1.
The man tries to enforce the sergeant in favour of the criminal.

The man tries to enforce the sergeant in favour of the criminal by repetedly saying, “Never mind. I’m going. I wouldn’t be in your shoes if the reward was ten times as much”.

Thought-Provoking Questions:

Question 1.
The man and the sergeant need each other’s support. Find such examples.

On that dark night, while keeping a watch, the man and the sergeant needed each other’s support. The man told the sergeant that he had seen the escaped criminal at his own place. Describing the criminal the man told that there wasn’t any weapon he didn’t know the use of. He also told that the escaped criminal was a strong and muscular man.

This description created fear in the mind of the sergeant and he actually needed the support of the man. The man also needed the sergeant’s support. He had planned to escape from the place which was not possible without the help of the sergeant. Thus the man and the sergeant both needed each other’s support.

Question 2.
Find out the reason of the man for staying at the place.

The ballad singer, as the ragged man introduces himself in the play, is actually the escaped prisoner. Using his intelligence he however tries to stay with the sergeant because he knows that the police are in search of him to put him back into custody. The hour is not safe for him to move and therefore he engages himself with the sergeant so that the other policemen do not doubt him and he can make a move when the time is safe.

Question 3.
Write about the persuasive approach of the man.

The man (the escaped prisoner) introduced himself as a ballad singer. He started singing ballads to persuade the sergeant in believing his identity. He also told the sergeant that he was so poor that he would earn money by singing ballads and would arrange for his supper. The man was dominating enough as he stuck to the place in spite of repeated warnings of the sergeant to go away from the place.

Question 4.
Find the life of a singer that is mentioned in the play.

The man introduces himself as a poor ballad singer who sings patriotic ballads for the sailors to earn himself a living.

Question 5.
The wavelength of the man and the sergeant goes together. Find the evidences from the text.

The wavelength of the man and sergeant goes together, this can be proved when the sergeant is eager find the escaped prisoner for a hundred pounds and a promotion on the basis of which he can support his family in a better way. On the other hand, the man introduces himself as a ballad singer who sings patriotic ballads to the sailors to earh living. In the other part of the act, the ragged man proves his patriotism by hiding his identity of prisoner belonging to Ireland. As the play comes to an end, the sergeant allows the man to escape in spite of knowing that he is the prisoner they were in search of. This is because the ragged man belongs to Ireland, the nation the sergeant used to belong, in his youth.

Question 6.
Discussion about patriotic songs goes on. Find the points from the text.

On the dark night while keeping a watch,the man sings patriotic songs to which the sergeant says, “Stop that that’s no song to be singing in these times”. The man then explains to the sergeant that he was only singing to keep his heart up. The sergeant sympathetically says, “Well, you can sing if it gives you more courage”.However, when the man continues to sing the sergeant corrects the lyrics. They also further discuss about ‘Granuaile’.

Question 7.
The sergeant’s reaction surprises the audience. Write your opinion. .

In the begining of the play, the sergeant was loyal to the British Government. As the play unfolds we find that the man has successfully brought about a change in the mind of the sergeant. He has aroused patriotism in the sergeant. The sergeant now lets go the prisoner easily. This surprises the audience. The change from the loyal British sergeant into the man with patriotism in the mind is drastic and surprising for the readers.

Question 8.
The sergeant supports the man by misguiding his comrades. Write your views.

The sergeant was the loyal British servant. He wanted to catch the escaped prisoner for a reward. As the play unfolded the man who introduced himself as a ballad singer brought about changes in the mind of the sergeant. During their discussion the man arouse patriotism in his mind and reminded him of his youth when he had joined a group of patriots. The sergeant was torn between his duty and his nation. But finally patriotism won and the sergeant helped the man to escape. He misguided his assistants in order to let the prisoner escape easily.


  1. lonesome – lonely, without any company
  2. quay – wooden or metal platform projecting into the water for loading and unloading of ships
  3. sergeant – a police officer ranking below an inspector
  4. placard – a sign for public display, either posted on the wall or carried during a demonstration
  5. gaol – jail
  6. kelp – a large brown seaweed that typically has long, tough stalk
  7. assize – The court which sat at intervals in each country of England and Wales to administer the civil and
  8. criminal law
  9. plaid – a type of woolen cloth
  10. shuffles – move/walk by dragging one’s feet
  11. barrack – police accommodation
  12. queer – strange
  13. to keep one’s heart up – to keep oneself happy
  14. tunic – a loose garment
  15. pike – an infantry weapon with a pointed steel or iron head on a long wooden shaft.