Illustration of Christopher Mahon with a noose around his neck and a woman standing in front of him

The Playboy of the Western World

by J. M. Synge
Start Free Trial

Discuss the relevance of "The Playboy of the Western World" today.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One way of approaching this is by considering the modern cult of celebrity and fame. Although the setting is a small rural community, when Christy arrives in it he becomes a figure of intense interest and attraction for the locals. He in turn is seduced by his 'fame' and learns how to exploit it through his stories and language. Of course it is all based on perception rather than reality and in the community's desperate desire to believe in the narrative of this special one who has arrived among them. There is even a fan base among the women characters and competition for Christy's attention, so it's not stretching things, in my opinion, to see a very modern parable in the play because reality, as usual, comes crashing through in the end.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team