As the world reacted and celebrated the defeat of Donald Trump in the US election and the victory of Joe Biden, RTÉ News finished out the nightly report with a short montage, set to 'The Cure At Troy' by Seamus Heaney.
The poem was taken from Sophocles' 'Philoctetes' and adapted into verse by Heaney in 1991, drawing comparisons from the Trojan War to Northern Ireland's decades-long conflict. In fact, former US President Bill Clinton cited the poem when visiting Derry in 1995 during the Peace Process (and was featured in 'Derry Girls' as well), while US President-Elect Joe Biden quoted it during his acceptance speech some months ago.
The video begins in black-and-white, showing Biden's early life, a family photo of his wife and daughter, both of whom died in a car crash in 1972, followed by an image of his son Beau, who died in 2015 of brain cancer. From there, Biden's reading of the poem takes in the Black Lives Matter protests, Donald Trump's rise to power, the celebrations of his defeat, and all of it coming together for the final line, "and hope and history rhyme."
Watch this. https://t.co/avJ0CzISTZ
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) November 7, 2020
Not surprisingly, the deeply emotional video resonated across the water, with the video amassing 4.4 million views so far, and was shared widely. Names like 'The West Wing' star Bradley Whitford, comedian Patton Oswalt, 'Shameless' alum Emmy Rossum, not to mention journalists and writers from the likes of The Atlantic, The New York Times, CBS, and many more.
It's a beautiful piece of television. Take a look.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 7, 2020