What is the signiificance of Synge's title, The play boy of the western world.

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of the play, Pegeen bemoans the loss of her paramour by saying "I've lost him surely! I've lost the only playboy of the Western World!" In saying this she seems to believe her situation is unique and she is the only woman who has ever suffered such a loss. Since she lives in a remote and rural area this may make sense for her. But the irony of the title is that such a situation is very common, indeed universal. These characters, their feelings, thoughts and suffering are part of the universal human experience, and to set any of them apart as unique is commentary upon the potency of such emotions as felt by individuals, and upon the role of drama and literature in expressing these universal emotions in new and memorable ways.

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The Playboy of the Western World

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