What Is the Theme of "Riders to the Sea"?

The main theme of "Riders to the Sea" by John Millington Synge is the helpless strife of man against the unrelenting, inhuman cruelty of the sea. The author's inspiration was his stay in the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland.

"Riders to the Sea" has its first performance on Feb. 25, 1904 at Molesworth Hall in Dublin. It is a one-act tragedy telling the grim, harrowing story of a mother losing all her sons and a husband to the sea, eventually resigning all hope. "Riders to the Sea" is one of several plays by Synge set in the Aran Islands. Synge, a playwright, poet and writer, was one of the most prominent figures in the Irish Literary Revival.