The Playboy of the Western World Questions and Answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Despite the grandiosity of its title, The Playboy of the Western World is actually rather a parochial play. Set in a remote corner of the West of Ireland and dealing with the warped moral values of...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2021 10:50 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

The playwright uses this title to speak to the mythos that is created around Christy as he interacts and forms relationships with the peasant population of the island to the west of Ireland....

Latest answer posted July 5, 2019 12:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The title refers to the line at the end of the play spoken by Pegeen, "I've lost the only playboy of the Western World!" She says this after Christy reconciles with his father and decides to travel...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2019 5:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World revolves around Christy Mahon's "murder" of his overbearing father. Though Christy fails to actually kill his father (although he does succeed in...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2016 6:07 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

This play combines at least three themes and plot lines: One one level, it is a comical romance, a rivalry between the widow Quin and the young girl, Pegeen. As such, it is simply a domestic...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2013 9:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Dark comedies tend to skirt the boundaries separating the comedic from the tragic. The critical and often commercial success of films like Fargo, MASH, In Bruges, Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2017 2:44 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

The term "modern" can refer to the period in western civilization from the Renaissance onward, marked by the rise of the use of the vernacular or to the "modernist" period of the early twentieth...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2019 3:26 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

The primary themes of The Playboy of the Western World on the literal level are the Oedipus Complex reversed, the difficulty of growing up, and the power of rumor over information. On a...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2018 10:39 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

I think that to describe Old Mahon as "cranky" is something of an understatement. It would be far more accurate to describe him as a mean, abusive drunk who terrorized his son Christy throughout...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2019 8:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

One of the biggest ironies in the play is that Christy only becomes the man the villagers originally thought him to be right at the end, when he's threatened for appearing to kill his old man....

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019 12:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Another important symbol is the loy, which is a kind of spade used in Ireland for cultivating potatoes. Ostensibly, it symbolizes the life of poverty and mindless drudgery that characterizes the...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2019 5:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act comedy by Irish playwright J. M. Synge that made its debut in 1907 and has been called “a masterpiece of the literary Irish Renaissance.” With clever...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2020 1:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

In The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge, the reason that Christy Mahon returns home with is father is that he really doesn't have much choice about the matter. When the town realizes...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012 7:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The relationship between Michael and Pegeen is somewhat fraught. There's a real clash of personalities here. Michael is a rather laid-back kind of guy who doesn't expect much out of life; Pegeen,...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2018 9:22 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

This theme is closely related to those of myth making and imagination. Synge says in the Preface to The Playboy of the Western World, "In Ireland ... we have a popular imagination that is fiery and...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

In J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, both male and female characters are interested strongly in marriage; sexuality appears in the play mainly as a dive towards getting married rather...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2012 11:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

There are indeed a number of important themes in The Playboy Of The Western World, but I’d like to suggest an over-arching theme, one that unifies all the lesser themes into a coherent whole. That...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2017 9:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Christy's recounting the lurid—and completely apocryphal—tale of how he came to kill his brutal old tyrant of a father. He goes into extraordinary detail in telling his story in an attempt to make...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2019 7:25 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

In The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge, when Christy Mahon initially appears, he is exhausted, confused, and terrified of being arrested. He is not thinking particularly clearly, and...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

In J.M. Synge's uses of tragedy and comedy in Playboy of the Western World, we are able to see the essence of the human condition: tragically we lose sight of what is acceptable by social (and even...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2010 8:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

A counter weight character is one who balances the extremes of a major character. An example is Enkidu as a counter weight character to Gilgamesh in The Epic of Gilgamesh. By himself, Gilgamesh is...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011 3:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

By definition, realism (in literature) depicts the literary situation as something in its true to life representation. What this means is that the setting and characters make sense to the reader as...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2019 9:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

"Fantasy" is a strong word to use in relation to a play noted for its realism (not originally favorably noted, either). One definition of "fantasy" is: "imagination unrestricted by reality"...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2011 9:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Social conventions are a significant thematic concern in J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. One way this can be seen is in the 'herd mentality' of the village. When one person is...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2012 10:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The rebellion theme in J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World derives from its historical context in which writers and artists in Ireland were caught up in the movement advocating `home...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

J. M. Synge's play is largely a tribute to the power of language. Christy, we learn much later, is not quite the man of action he wants to be or that he makes his audience in the pub think he is:...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2019 3:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Synge wanted to demythologize certain aspects of Irish rural life as they had traditionally been portrayed on stage. At that time, rural communities tended to be romanticized in Irish nationalist...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2019 5:01 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

In The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge, the relationship between Old Mahon and his son Christy Mahon is one that we would now describe as abusive, and possibly based on alcoholism and...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

In writing THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, as in my other plays, I have used one or two words only that I have not heard among the country people of Ireland, or spoken in my own nursery before I...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2012 7:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Despite its very specific localized mise-en-scene in rural, agricultural western Ireland, and despite its age (1911), this play still speaks to at least three universal and contemporary themes: the...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

First of all, let us define the meaning of the word "playboy" in this context. In contemporary terms, a playboy is a wealthy and privileged man who spends time enjoying life, and he is often...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2018 4:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

It seems a little difficult to think of patricide as the real theme since Synge's play is a humorous satire meant to evoke laughter. While patricide is a common theme in tragedy, (e.g., Oedipus...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011 9:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

I would say the main theme of The Playboy of the Western World is rebellion. Shawn's reluctance to be alone with Pegeen and the fact that he waits for approval of the Vatican make him seem...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

There may be a good reason you're having trouble figuring out the tragic nature of Synge's The Playboy of the Western World: it isn't a tragedy. The play deals with conformity and rebellion, with...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2010 4:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Synge's The Playboy of the Western World reveals an Ireland in love with violence. This is the truth the play reveals. The characters in the play make a hero out of a man who kills his own dad....

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010 11:08 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

In The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge, Christy Mahon and Shawn Keogh are both portraits of Irish stereotypes, with Shawn being the pious coward, subordinated to the church and Christy...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012 7:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The best way of answering this question is to think about the themes of this excellent play and to consider if any of them are still relevant to today's society given the fact that society has...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2012 4:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

J.M. Synge’s three-act drama “The Playboy of the Western World” employs unique stage directions. For starters, there are a lot of them! Synge had a vary specific tone in mind for the dialogue...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2019 6:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

One of the themes in Playboy of The Western World by J M Synge is rebellion, although this doesn't seem obvious at first as we see the characters carefully following church dictates - particularly...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2009 4:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The thinness of the line between tragedy and comedy can be seen in relation to "The Playboy of the Western World" in several ways. First, if you had to reduce the definitions to the most...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2008 4:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The dialogue of J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World is important to the play because of its root in realism. Realist writers wished to show the world as it really was. They tended to act...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2013 3:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

The center of the story is the community reaction -- how the small community seeks and (putatively) finds a hero, and how atificial their criteria for heroism are -- the love story is the...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2012 3:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Comedy is generally defined as “tragedy avoided”, and in this “classic” comedy, two tragedies are avoided: first, the Playboy’s father is not really dead (twice), and secondly, Christie and Old...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2013 5:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Just a short note to add to the excellent answer above: Synge's Playboy of the Western World is hilarious. Synge originally labeled the work a farce in its early stages, and though he eventually...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2010 4:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

One level on which this text displays relevance to our contemporary social situation (or, to put it more accurately, a way in which we can discover relevance for our times within this play) is to...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2018 5:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Other characters mock Shawn in The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge for two related reasons, one having to do with gender norms and one with religion. On the level of gender norms, men...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

It would be easier for editors if students did not change questions after posting them.

Latest answer posted April 26, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

Are you referring to a character in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"? Because the only character I think comes close is Egeus-- who is more of a "reformed bachelor" than anything else.

Latest answer posted August 4, 2011 10:18 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Playboy of the Western World

Well i think that the words have different meanings from different times. When the villagers call Christy, "the playboy of the western world" they were championing him for his bravery in killing...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2007 11:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Playboy of the Western World

There are a couple different themes present in J. M. Synge's play The Playboy of the Western World. While the themes are very different, they tend to follow closely together in order to...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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