The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers.

The poem is written by W.B Yeats and it talks about the presence of God everywhere and his love for all. It illustrates God’s everlasting benevolence and how ‘He’ extends his helping hand to the humble priest in his hour of need. Below are given the questions and answers. I have also shared Bangle Sellers Questions & Answers so, make sure to check that post as well.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers

Question 1: Read the passage given below and answer the following questions.

“The old priest………………………………… green sods lay.”

(a) Why was Father Gillian weary throughout?

Answer: The old Father Gilligan was overburdened by his religious duties and was extremely weary and exhausted. His poor folks were dying in large numbers so, he had to not only give the last communion to them but also conduct funeral services for them.

(b) Explain the meaning of ‘under green sods’.

Answer: Green sods means a piece of earth with grass and roots growing in it. Here, ‘under green sods’ refers to the graves of the Parishioners who had died due to the calamitous epidemic.

(c) Explain the significance of the word ‘flock’.

Answer: ‘Flock’ here refers to a church congregation guided by a Priest, who is Father Gilligan. Here priest is considered to be a shepherd who looks after his sheep means his parishioners in every way. So, here the priest is to look after his flock of people.

(d) Why were his flocks either in bed or lying under green sod?

Answer: In Father Gilligan’s parish,the parishioners were either afflicted with the fatal epidemic or they have already become the victims of the deadly disease.

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Question 2: What did Father Gilligan realise when he awoke from sleep? What did he do then?

Answer: Father Gilligan realised that he had slept throughout the evening. As soon as he woke up he stood upright and roused his horse out of its sleep. He then rode away to the sick man’s house.

Question 3: What does the speaker mean by ‘My body spake not I’?

Answer: The speaker meant that he had not grumbled from his heart. His body was extremely tired so he grumbled.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers

Question 4: Read the passage given below and answer the following questions.

“Once, while he nodded………………………………. he began to grieve”.

(a) Why did the poor man send for Father Gilligan?

Answer: The poor man had sent for the priest so that he could receive the last sacrament before dying so that his soul would be graced and he could go to heaven.

(b) Why do you think he was nodding on the chair in the evening hour?

Answer: Father Gilligan was nodding on the chair because by evening he was tired and was dozing off to sleep.

(c) Find a word from the extract which means the same as ‘mourn’.

Answer: Grieve

Question 5: What made Father Gilligan kneel down?

Answer: When Father Gilligan was resting, a sick man at his death bed called for him. He started grumbling that he had no time to rest, neither joy nor peace as people were dying in the village every now and then. But he quickly realised his mistake and knelt down before God to ask for forgiveness.

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Question 6: Read the passage given below and answer the following questions:

“When you were gone…………………………. him at that word.”

(a) When you……a bird’, who said these words?

Answer: The poor man’s wife said these words.

(b) Why does the old priest kneel down and pray at the above words?

Answer: The old priest knelt down and prayed at the above words because he wanted to thank God for sending down His angels to help him in his hour of need.

Question 7: What did Father Gilligan lament?

Answer: Overburdened by his religious duties, the old Father Gilligan was extremely weary and exhausted. He lamented that his life was joyless and troubled and he had no rest at all.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers

Question 8: Why was the priest overcome with grief when the widow told him of the man’s death?

Answer: The priest was so heartbroken for failing in his religious responsibility to provide the last sacrament for anointing the sick man. He also dreaded that one of his parishioners will be accursed because of his failure to perform the decreed task.

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Question 9: What message is the poet trying to convey through the poem?

Answer: The message that the poet is trying to convey through the poem ‘The Ballad of Father Gilligan’ is that God helps those who help others. Father Gilligan, who had complete faith in God, fell asleep when he was supposed to be beside the sick man to give the last sacrament. Then the sick man’s soul would be graced and he would go to heaven. But while he was sleeping, God sent his angels in Father Gilligan’s disguise to the sick man’s house. God knew Father Gilligan was extremely tired so God helped him in his time of need.

Question 10: Read the passage given below and answer the following questions:

“They slowly into millions…………………………… whispered to mankind.”

(a) What was the priest doing at this time?

Answer: While the evening slowly turned into night, the worn-out Father Gilligan leaned on a chair and slept. Neither aware of the passage of time nor conscious of the responsibility of the religious service he had to perform to the dying man, he slept blissfully.

(b) What does the line “And God covered…………… whispered to mankind” convey about the nature of God?

Answer: In these lines, God is compared to a loving mother who is putting her child to sleep by singing soft lullaby. Similarly, covering the earth with the comforting darkness of night, the Loving God brings relief to the toiling humanity. With the balm of soothing sleep, He is blessing the troubled souls.

Question 11: What does the line ‘Upon the time of sparrow-chirp’ mean?

Answer: It refers to the early morning hours when the birds such as sparrows twitter.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers

Question 12: what do you conclude about the mental state of the priest from the line – ‘And rode with little care’?

Answer: The priest was quite disheartened for neglecting his religious duty and was also scared that one of his parishioners will be cursed because of his negligence. So, he sadly rides recklessly to the house of the sick man in the mountainous terrain of the Irish village without caring for his own safety.

Question 13: Why did the priest cry out ‘Mavrone, mavrone’?

Answer: The priest cried out ‘Mavrone, mavrone’ in grief as he could not go the sick man’s for performing the last rites.

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Question 14: Why did the wife of sick man ask ‘Father, You come again’?

Answer: When the sick man’s wife saw the priest, she was surprised because her husband had already received the last sacrament from the priest and had died happily. So, she was unable to understand why the priest had come again.

Question 15: What does the line – ‘He knelt him at that word’ show of his character?

Answer: The priest came to know from the lady that the sick man died happily after the priest had left. These words from the widow made the priest realized that the ever merciful God had extended His helping hand to him and had compassionately sent an angel to minister the last ritual to the dying man so that both the sick man as well as the priest were saved from damnation. Father Gilligan was humbled at this, knelt and prayed.

Question 16: Explain: ‘He Who is wrapped…………planets in His care’.

Answer: Robes are long flowing garments worn by a priest of the Church for official or ceremonial occasions. The poet imagines God as Parish Priest whose parish is the whole universe and all the planets are in his dominion.

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Question 17: What impression do you form of Father Gilligan?

Answer: Father Gilligan is a simple, god fearing, a nobleman who does his duty as a laborious priest. He helps the poor and needy people who were suffering from an epidemic selflessly. He stood at the bedside of the dying men day and night to perform the last dying rites without caring for his own health and safety.

So, these were The Ballad of Father Gilligan Questions & Answers.

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