The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool Summary
Rosemary Sutcliff

Everything you need to understand or teach The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool by Rosemary Sutcliff.

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The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool Summary

recounts some of the most celebrated tales in Irish folklore and legend, and reflects values the Irish people have for centuries held most dear. Most of the tales focus on "high" deeds that benefit the community at large. For example, Finn slays the fire-breathing monster Aillen not only to prove his own courage, but also to save Tara, the Great Hall of the Kingdom of Erin (the ancient name for Ireland). Furthermore, Finn kills the monster with a mysterious, powerful spear given him by an old Fianna warrior. The tale stresses the responsibility of the young to draw on the resources and wisdom of their elders. Variations on this theme recur throughout the stories; when the pattern of respect is broken, tragic results ensue.

The stories depict the loyalty of Irish men and women to their island. Despite their strong desire to protect Ireland from invaders, Finn and his...

(read more from the Short Guide)