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Juno and the Paycock - Key Moments

written and presented by 6th yr Higher Level Students

Will Kiernan

on 24 October 2014

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Transcript of Juno and the Paycock - Key Moments

Juno and the Paycock

Key Moments

Key Moment 1
The Opening of the Play
Key Moment 2
Portrayal of Marriage. P 74 - 77
Key Moment 3
Johnnys Principle. P. 92 - 93
Key Moment 4
Changing Fortunes - The Will
Key Moment 5
Johnnys reaction to Benthams ghosts P. 106 - 108
Key Moment 6
Tancreds Funeral P. 114 - 117
Key Moment 7
Mother Daughter Relationship P.123 - 124
Key Moment 8
Mary's News & the Will P 133 - 137
Johnnys Execution
Key Moment 10
Final Scene: A mothers choice.
The opening scene of the play provides us with a bleak image of existence in the tenements of civil war Dublin. The description gives us a graphic description of poverty. A sense of foreboding and struggle is immediately felt as we are told about Mary and "the two forces working in her mind; one through the circumstances of her life, pulling her back, the other, through the influence of books she has read, pushing her forward". A sign of the times is also apparent as Mary describes in graphic detail the death of Mrs. Tancreds son.
Key Moment 9
In this scene of the play, we see a bleak image of marriage in the Boyle household. We see Mrs. Boyle is fed up of the Captain complaining, only looking for sympathy; "the pains in me legs are gone". Mrs Boyle tells him straight out that he is lazy and good for nothing.This shows just how frustrated she is with him. Boyle then shows how annoyed he is with Juno saying that he'd be better off alone, "better for a man to be dead". Overall, the bleak image of marriage releases a sense of despair.
Johnny is introduced to Bentham. Juno describes Johnnys injuries and how they were acquired in fighting on O'Connell St. Johnny boasts that it was something that he would do again, as " a principles a principle". He is quick to turn to violence to achieve his political ideals. This readiness to turn to violence gives the moment a bleak atmosphere. Johnny doesn't consider what previous violence has done to himself.
Bentham discusses the possibility of ghosts and that the "energy lingers" where the person was killed. This starts off negative and this shows signs of mental anguish and Johnny leaves. Johnny claims to have seen Robbie Tancreds ghost with the injuries to match. Johnny claims "it wasnt my fault he was done in". This gives rise to despair at the death and sighting of the ghost, but the idea that Johnny is somehow connected to his death, leaves him mentally scorned as he visualises graphic injuries on someone who has died, underlining the sense of violence and despair.
We are given a bleak view of the pain and suffering of those left behind after a loved one is killed. There were many deaths during the civil war, but it is not often considered for those who are left behind, the pain that they must deal with. Mrs Tancred comes across as devastated by the "sorra" of he sons death. We see despair over all the violence and the Boyles discuss how it seems pointless and hope for the struggle to end soon. Captain Boyles selfish reaction paints a picture of a society dehumanised to violence as he exclaims "they don't affect us, an' we needn't give a damn", a dark view of human nature in a time of violence indeed.
Within these pages, Mrs Boyle makes Mary go to the doctor. Within this we see aspects of tough love which portrays the theme of relationships in a unusually positive light. Mrs. Boyle assures Mary that it is not her fault that Bentham left, "it must ha' been somethin' else". MRs Boyle is honest with Mary here, "ye know at times your a bit hasty Mary". This also shows a lack of communication and wants the relationship to improve "I don't why you like to hide everything from your poor mother". This shows a positive sense of mother daughter relationship within the play.
Juno comes home to break the news that Mary is Pregnant. Both Boyle a Johnny have very violent reactions to the news, by saying she is a disgrace and should be driven from the home. Jack hasn't bother to tell them so far that there is no will. When it comes out, the family realise the reasons Bentham ran off so hastily. The whole family react badly and this gives a sense of hopelessness to their hopes of escaping their situation.
Before Bentham reveals the coming fortune, Boyle curses his cousin Ellison and doubts "many will mourn him".
However after the revelation, all are elated and relationships evolve
. Juno addresses Boyle as "Jack" and relieves him of his attempts to get a job. Jack declares that they must go into mourning at once and believes it "sad" that his cousin died so sudden. He then announces the termination of his friendship with Joxer. Boyle and Juno appear loving at this stage and Jack asserts his belief that he is "a new man from this out". He clasps Junos hand and serenades her. "Oh my darlin Juno". Johnnys reaction belies a more foreboding possibility, as he looks at this as chance to leave to go somewhere they weren't known.
Johnny is executed by the Irregulars. This event brings a stark reality to the play at this point, and is a pivotal moment of violence. We learn Johnny gave Tancred away to the enemy, giving us a clear view of the violence that pervaded society at the time of the Civil War, where friends and family became victims of each other. As the men take him away, they ask him to take his beads with him, a moment of, perhaps, humanity in a time of war.
Juno chooses to leave Boyle in the Tenements. She decides to leave with Mary and live with her Sister for a time. She left Jack as she knew that he would not amount to anything. She also left because of Johnny, her only Son, had been executed. She is left in grief and echoes the cries of Mrs Tancred; "take away our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh". This leaves a bleak and desolate outlook with the reader, but there is some optimism as she makes the decision to remain with Mary, to give the unborn baby a better chance. It will have something better than a father and mother, it will "have whats far better, it will have two mothers"
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