- By W.B. Yeats


            The play ‘Purgatory’ which is written by Irish writer W.B Yealth esplores the manifold of crime and punishment for then criminals. The Irish writer and punishments for criminals the  Irish writer W.B yealths also uses supernatural element in his play ‘purgatory’ to talk about the process of purification. According to catholic church ‘purgatory’ is a place or state into which the soul passes after death to be cleansed off pardonable before going to heaven. One of the character the old man thinks the soul of his mother remains on the purgatory due to the crime’s of old man father as well as the flow of impure blood. When the old man killed the baster’s son the image of his mother becomes dim on the wall of the ruined house which suggest the purgatory of his mother’s soul.

            The setting of the play is specified there is ruined house and a bare tree at the background. The naked tree symbolizes confusion as well as the dark future. There are two characters, old man and his baster’s son they gathered in front of a ruined house after many years when the old man looked at the  wall of ruined house, he saw the image of the mother as well as the of beating sound of his father horse. When he saw that image told his mother to save her mother from the physical attack of his father because his father was a groom and his mother was a daughter of an Aristocrat. There shouldn’t be union between the working and Aristocrat for old man. When a groom wedded with the daughter of Aristocrat , they began the chronology flow of impure blood’ old man was the result of it. He told the glorious history of ruined of it. He told the glorious history of ruined house to his son. The house was bought by old mans mother and many respected people of the country used to visit that house before old man father bledged it. According to the old man his mother passed away while she gave birth to it. Then old man father squandered the property of his mother in gambling women and drinking. He neither played any attention for the education of old man nor he handed down his property. He learned latin language by the help of church. In drunken, frenzy the old man father blessed his house. At the same time the old man stabbed his father to death and threw his curpse in the blazing fire and left that place to save his self from the rails. During that time the old man was sixty and his father was sixty years old and then the old man become paddle. Through his profession the old man could some money which were in his bag. The eyes of his old son was only at the money bag of old man. When the old man saw the image of father and mother on the wall of ruined house, the boy didn’t see anything. As a result he blamed his father as mad man, like old man’s father, the old man also didn’t use any penny for the education and future carrier of bastered son. Now the old man is sixty and his son’s is sixteen years old. When the boy heard the history of the ruined house as well as his father, he also threatened to kill the old man. Again, when the old man staired at the image of his mother on the wall of ruined house, the boy grabbed the money of his father. Unfortunately when the boy also saw the image of his grandmother and mother at the wall of ruined house, old man stabbed his to death by use of same knife through which he killed his father. Before the end of play the old man again saw the image of his mother on the wall of ruined house and prayed to the god for the released his soul for the purgatory. After few moments the image became dim.

            In this way, when the flow of impure blood has been stopped by the attack of old man, his mother should may get entry in heaven. It is all because of the criminal activities of old man’s father, his mother soul remained in purgatory. Two representative characters the boy refers to the beginning of human life and the old man refers to the last part of human life.

  1. QN) What is the theme of purgatory?

Purgatory literally means a place into which the soul passes after death to be cleansed or pardonable sins before going to heaven. In this sense purgatory is the gate way or the check point to heaven. Purgatory talks about the relation of man with supernatural forees. The old man tells the story about the ruined house and its apogee of fame. When the flow of impure blood has been stopped by the attack of old man his mother soul may get entry in heaven. It is all because of the criminal activities of old man’s father, his mother soul remained in purgatory.Why did the old man kill his own son? (2058) OR

  1. What is the Old Man’s motive in murdering the Boy? (2067)

The old man’s motive behind murdering the boy is apparent. He was quite conscious about his line of ancestry. He was unsatisfied with his blood so he killed the boy stop the polluted blood to produce more pollution in the world. The other reson for his murder of the boy, his son, is to release the soul of his (the boy’s) mother from the purgatory.

The old man had also killed his father. Now he killed his son too. He is the only man living in his family. After killing the boy the crime of a father will not be repeated by him (the boy) in an endless cycle of violence and atrocities. So, the old man’s motive is to put an end to the whole line of blood, the race of his family.

  1. Explain how “Purgatory” explores the relation of human life to supernatural forces. (2066)

W B Yeats gives a touch of supernatural element in this drama. The title itself is a symbol of supernatural element. Purgatory is a place where dead souls pass after the death. The soul is purified there according to the bad deeds he or she had done on the earth. The belief is popular among the Roman Catholic people.

The old man’s attempt on the earth is to purify the soul of his mother in purgatory. She was moving like a pendulum in purgatory so the old man tried to purify her soul. The old man prays to purify his mother soul to send it to heaven.

In this way “Purgatory” talks about the relation of man with supernatural forces. The old man’s belief to purify his dead mother’s sound is totally based on supernatural belief of his Roman Catholic religion.

  1. Sketch the character of An Old Man. (2063)

The old man’s life was not good on the earth. He was a bit torched by his idoisyncrative psychological state of mind. His life on earth has become really hellish. He is Roman Catholic by religion and believes that only prayer will do well for his mother who is in purgatory.

His father was a drunkard who ruined his home, money and his health. His father was notorious who beat his wife and did not care about the dignity of his post and position. His father did not send him school and educate him. His mother was from a rich family who brought huge amount of wealth with her. The old man’s mother giving birth to him. He neither got the mother’s affection nor his father’s love. His father would be indulge in wine and gambling whom the difference of day and night was nothing. By these reasons the old man was upset and when he became he killed his father poking a knife.

The old man lived his life like a pauper. He indulged himself in drink and games like his father. He found a tinker’s daughter in the ditch and begot the boy. When the body became sixteen. He also killed his son using the same knife which he had used to kill his father. He seems mad but he is not. He just wanted to put an end to the polluted race, ruined ancestry. So, he is the murderer of his own father and son.

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