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Themes in Cailte Story in Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Book Review Sample)


The task was to identify the themes in the book "Tales of the elders of ireland".

Themes in Cailte Story in Tales of the Elders of Ireland
Tales of the Elders of Ireland is a book that translated the events Acallam and Senorach that took place in the twelfth century in Ireland. The book contains comprehensive tales of the Fenian poetry and narratives. Notably, the narrative describes the encounter between two warriors and Saint Patrick. The two heroes namely Cailte and Oisin were the survivors of the pre-Christian past in Ireland. Cailte and Oisin shared their brave encounters with the first Ireland saint. Important to note, the tale is described as an Acallam to mean that it is a conversation with the respected elders that were referred to as Senorach. The elders represented the Ireland literary heritage and the oral deeds relating to the actions of the heroes, immortals, and the great kings.
In this paper, one tale that Cailte told Saint Patrick will be explored. More so, the themes that can be identified from the story will be discussed. In essence, Cailte as one of the survivors contributed significantly in developing the tales about the experiences in the early years in Ireland.
The Story of Finn as told by Cailte
At the beginning of this Acallam, Cailte and Osin had survived for many years after the death of their friends. The two also separated and Cailte traveled to the old fort where his home elder Finn lived. As he went back home, he met with Saint Patrick. From this encounter, Cailte and Patrick spend most of their time together (Roe and Dooley 2). During this period, the former was able to tell the latter the ancient stories and their past experiences with the elders. At one point, Patrick requests Cailte to narrate to him the tales of Fian. The latter agrees and begins the journey to recount the past encounters.
In the first tale, Cailte tells Patrick of the Finn who was a legendary warrior who had neglected his Christian duties. The hero was wealthy and was well known in Britain. Cailte highlighted one of his encounters with Finn. He recounted how three of the warrior's hounds had been stolen by Artuir, the son of Benne. Finn called Cailte and other soilders to help him recover the hounds. The narrator recounted how they captured Artuir and recovered the lost hounds and other horses that had been stolen (Roe and Dooley 3). Important to note, Artuir was once Finn’s loyal warrior, and so, when he stole his master’s wealth, this caused a disparity between the two. However, after he was captured, he surrendered and vowed to be loyal to Finn until his death.
Saint Patrick had a positive response to the old tales as he thanked Cailte for enlightening him. In his words, he stated (5),
“May victory be yours Cailte, with my blessing. You have lightened our spirits and our mind, even though our religious life is disrupted and our prayers neglected.”
Themes in the Story
In essence, religion refers to the worship and belief in the existence of a superhuman with controlling powers. In addition, the belief may acknowledge one personal Supreme Being or several gods. Notably, there are various types of religion that people ascribe to today. Some of them include Christianity, Budhism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism, Judaism, among others. In the tale about Finn, Christianity was more apparent. Important to note, the term Christianity refers to the religion based on the teaching and life of Jesus Christ. More so, the people who believe in this doctrine often seek to have the character and quality of Jesus.
As noted earlier, the theme of religion was seen in the tale about Finn. Cailte recounted how the warrior was known for his wealth and that he had neglected his Christian duties. Given that Cailte told stories about the ancient Ireland, one would purport that the religion had grown in the region in the early years as people had already subscribed to this belief system. Notably, the tale reminded the readers the Christianisation in Ireland and how the system overcame the pagan and oral past in the country (Roe and Dooley 7). The literature on the Christian history was seen as a way to preserve the religion, which allowed the next generation to find reading material that would help strengthen their faith. As seen in the tale, Saint Patrick was pleased with Cailte’s storytelling that he saw a means of surpassing the secular narratives. Notably, the Saint even baptised and blessed Cailte as a means of appreciating him for telling him about this past.
National Identity
In essence, national identity refers to the sense of belonging to a particular state as a whole. Notably, people from a common country acquire this feeling through shared language, culture, and traditions. The contemporary political scene presents two main ideas of the construction of national identity. The first concept defines nationality as a feeling that is based on a common ethnicity or ancestry. The second approach views national identity as a malleable word with no particular strict priorities. The tale about Finn presented the theme of national identity by the first definition.
Cailte narrated ...
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