What are the themes of The Playboy of the Western World?  

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 substantiate the themes' importance to the play itself. By tying the themes together, the themes become stronger and more apparent when they are known to the reader or watcher of the play.

Social Conventions

This theme is presented in two ways. First, many of the characters in the play adhere to the social conventions of the time. They tend to act as the world (and their society) believes they should act. One character, Pegeen, does tend to challenge male authority.


Rebellion is seen in conjunction with the theme of social conventions. While some characters try to enforce social conventions, and rebel against those challenging it, others rebel against the social conventions themselves.

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The Playboy of the Western World

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