There is a picture of the Virgin Mary, below which hangs a bowl containing a floating votive candle. Furnishings and other belongings are sparse, consisting of a dresser, a small bed, a fireplace, a box of coal, an alarm clock, a bath, a table and chairs, a teapot, a frying pan, a few books, and a long-handled shovel. The act opens with Juno Boyle and her daughter Mary discussing the murder of their neighbor Mrs. She complains that he has already worn out his health insurance and will soon be out of unemployment, yet he is always singing. Mary seems unperturbed, tying a ribbon around her head and musing about which color to wear.
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Juno, 6 Juno often refers to Boyle as a peacock "paycock". Juno, 8 Mary currently has no income, as she is on strike.
Juno is practical and has no room for idealism in the midst of poverty. Charles Stewart Parnell was a political figure who lost support after a divorce scandal, and the Fenian Brotherhood was a secret revolutionary organization opposed by most of the Catholic hierarchy.
The fact that Boyle retracts this statement later on shows how he uses history to suit his own purposes, whether or not it is true. The aphorism supposedly originated in a sermon preached by Bishop Moriarty in March and had become a part of what could be called a "rebel folklore. Juno, 27 Mary and Johnny both regale their mother with their beliefs about principles. Johnny repeats the slogan, at which point Juno retorts with the quote above. The exchange sets up a thematic dichotomy of abstract moral principles versus practicality.
Juno points out that principles based on nationalism, socialism, or religion are of no use in feeding the family and fighting the poverty which is the true enemy of the people. What an interesting name! Juno in Roman mythology was the sister and wife of Jupiter and the queen of heaven.
She had a chariot drawn by peacocks, birds that were sacred to her, and was sometimes depicted with a peacock at her feet. Ironically, she refers to Boyle as a peacock, but for his vanity and uselessness rather than for his help. However, she also espouses many qualities appropriate for a goddess of love, such as selflessness and altruism. Boyle, 73 Boyle speaks these words many times throughout the play.
They reflect his deterministic world view and the assumption that man can do nothing to fight against the chaos "chassis" that has ensued. Instead, Boyle escapes through fantasies and drink. The appearance of this line both at the beginning and the end of the play suggests that little has changed, at least for Boyle. This national partition is paralleled by the partition of the legacy left to Boyle by his cousin into so many pieces that it becomes worthless.
While hopeful, the quote also has a tragic undercurrent, for neither Juno nor Mary can change their men into responsible fathers. All they can do is compensate with their own strength for the good of the child. Juno, Unlike the men in the play, Juno undergoes a spiritual evolution as a result of her suffering. Once she loses her own son, however, she understands how much she shares with mothers everywhere whose children have been sacrificed in the war.
Her heart opens, giving her the strength to leave Boyle shortly thereafter in order to help raise her grandchild. They are also both disenchanted with the political state of the country, for independence from England has resulted only in more chaos and violence.
Juno and the Paycock Summary and Analysis of Act II
The votive light under the Virgin gleams even more brightly. Juno and Mary discuss Bentham, who has disappeared to England without leaving Mary his address. Juno supposes it was a bad idea to introduce him to Joxer and Mrs. Madigan and laments that Mary waited so long to share the news with her mother. Juno speaks with Boyle, who complains of pains in his legs. Boyle asks for some stout a type of beer , liniment, and a newspaper, and Juno places a second bottle of stout on the table. Juno and Mary leave, heading for the doctor as Mary is not feeling well.
Juno and the Paycock Summary and Analysis of Act III
Act I[ edit ] Juno and the Paycock takes place in the tenements of Dublin in , just after the outbreak of the Irish Civil War , and revolves around the misfortunes of the dysfunctional Boyle family. The father, "Captain" Jack so called because of his propensity for telling greatly exaggerated stories of his short career as a merchant seaman , is a loafer who claims to be unable to work because of pains in his legs, which mysteriously appear whenever someone mentions work to him. The mother, Juno so called because all of the important events in her life took place in June , is the only member of the family currently working, as daughter Mary is on strike and son Johnny is disabled, having lost his arm in the War of Independence. Mary feels guilty about dumping her boyfriend and fellow striker, Jerry Devine, who feels more strongly for her than she does for him. Meanwhile, Johnny agonises over his betrayal of his friend Robbie Tancred, a neighbour and former comrade in the IRA , who was subsequently murdered by Free State supporters; Johnny is terrified that the IRA will execute him as punishment for being an informant. Overjoyed with the news, Jack vows to Juno to end his friendship with Joxer and change his ways.
Juno and the Paycock Quotes and Analysis
Buy Study Guide Summary The second act takes place two days after the first. The setting is the same tenement apartment, but it is now full of gaudy furniture, pictures, huge vases with artificial flowers, and paper chains stretching across the ceiling. Boyle lies sprawled along the sofa smoking a pipe until he hears Joxer, at which point he jumps up and busies himself with papers. Joxer enters and delivers money from Mrs. Madigan, which she raised by selling some blankets and a table. Johnny enters from the bedroom, and Juno and Mary arrive with a gramophone. Juno is concerned about how much debt they are accruing.
Juno and the Paycock Summary and Analysis of Act I
A glaringly upholstered armchair and lounge; cheap pictures and photos everywhere. Every available spot is ornamented with huge vases filled with artificial flowers. Crossed festoons of colored paper chains stretch from end to end of ceiling. It is about six in the evening, and two days after the First Act. Boyle, in his shirt-sleeves, is voluptuously stretched on the sofa; he is smoking a clay pipe. He is half asleep. A lamp is lighting on the table.