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Ace Your "An Triail" Exam with These Sample Answers

Updated: Feb 17


"An Triail" is a popular Irish play that is often studied by Leaving Cert students. It presents a range of complex and challenging themes, making it a rewarding and thought-provoking text to explore. However, the play can be difficult to interpret and analyze, and many students struggle to produce high-quality answers in exams. In this blog post, we'll provide you with sample answers and insights to help you ace your "An Triail" exam.

1. Understanding the Themes of "An Triail"

"An Triail" explores a range of themes, including gender roles, morality, religion, and societal expectations. The play centers around a young woman named Máire, who is put on trial for murdering her newborn child. The play explores the complex societal pressures that lead to her actions, as well as the religious and moral implications of her crime. Understanding these themes is key to crafting effective and insightful exam answers.



2. Sample Answer - Exploring the Theme of Gender Roles

One potential essay question might ask students to explore the theme of gender roles in "An Triail." Here's an example of a sample answer:

"In 'An Triail,' we see a society that places a great deal of pressure on women to conform to traditional gender roles. Máire is expected to be a dutiful wife and mother, and her failure to meet these expectations is seen as a moral failing. Her status as an unmarried mother is also stigmatized by society. The play highlights the damage that these expectations can have on women, leading them to make tragic and irreversible decisions."



3. Sample Answer - Exploring the Theme of Religion

Another potential essay question might ask students to explore the theme of religion in "An Triail." Here's an example of a sample answer:

"Religion is a central theme in 'An Triail,' as the play explores the ways in which religious beliefs can influence societal expectations and morality. The play's characters struggle with the conflict between their religious beliefs and the societal pressures they face. Máire, for example, is torn between her religious beliefs and her love for her child. The play highlights the complex relationship between religion and morality, and the difficulty of navigating these competing forces."

4. Tips for Crafting Effective Exam Answers

To craft effective exam answers for "An Triail," students should focus on developing a clear thesis statement that addresses the question at hand. They should also use quotes and examples from the play to support their arguments, and make sure to analyze these quotes in depth. It's also important to structure the answer effectively, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Finally, students should pay attention to their use of language, making sure to write clearly and concisely.


In conclusion, "An Triail" is a complex and thought-provoking play that presents a range of challenging themes. By understanding these themes and using sample answers as a guide, Irish Leaving Cert students can produce high-quality exam answers that impress their examiners. By focusing on developing a clear thesis statement, using quotes and examples to support their arguments, and analyzing these quotes in depth, students can craft insightful and effective exam answers.


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