Purgatory Summary (Class 12)

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Characters
Old Man(Pedlar)
The Boy(Oldman’s son)
Oldman’s Father(Buttler)
Oldman’s Mother(Queen)

About Play

Purgatory is a play written by W.B.Yeats who was a famous Irish poet and dramatist. In this play, the writer expresses the relation of human life to spiritual force. The story of this play deals with the life of the old man who is hunted by his sins. At the starting of the play, we can find the old man and a boy standing in front of a ruined house with a bare tree in the background. The old man starts to tell his past story and dead people’s souls in front of the house. The old man says that people’s crimes will be repeated by their coming generation after they have died. Hearing such words of the old man the boy thinks that the old man is becoming mad. At the same time, the old man sees the ghost of his mother there.

The old man continuously tells the past story by pointing towards the house. He reveals the story of the house, according to him, he was born in that ruined house. The old man’s mother was a rich woman who owned the house and lots of property. She had even brought the costly race-horse. But the old man’s father was not good in his behavior. His father was known as a drunkard in the village. Old man’s mother had died while giving birth to him. After the death of his mother, his father continued to do this. Due to his father’s misbehave nothing remained at home. Old man’s father never sent him to school due to the fear of his son becoming greater than him. The old man was about 16years old, the drunkard’s father burnt down the one and only keepsakes(house) of his dead mother.

The act of the drunkard father created excessive anger in the boy. He left his father’s dead body in that burning house and became a peddler. The old man says that same knife which he uses to cut his food item. After some time he says to the son that the arrival of his father and mother ghosts. The boy does not see anyone there. He says that the old man is totally mad. The boy wanted to take the money bag of his father but his father denies giving him money.

The boy tries to snatch the moneybag but the bag scatters on the ground and the boy threatens to kill the old man. At the same time, his father’s ghost appears at the window. The old man becomes angry and kills the boy with the same knife. After that, the father’s ghost disappears from the window. The old man explains the reason why he killed the boy. He wants to break the chain of violence he says will become a father in the future and killed by his son. He seems quite satisfied about breaking the chain of violence. He confesses his crime of murdering his father and son. He cries to God with a strong prayer to release his mother’s tormented soul from purgatory.




List of The Heritage of words full summary list in here.

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