The Playboy of the Western World Characters

J. M. Synge

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Christopher (Christy) Mahon

Christopher (Christy) Mahon, the playboy of the Western World. Arriving one evening in a village on the wild coast of County Mayo, cold, tired, and hungry, he captures the imagination of the people when he tells them how he split the skull of his harsh, unimaginative old father with a loy. Timid no longer, the young man outleaps and outruns his competitors during the rigorous village sports. His reputation for bravery is tarnished, however, when his father, with a bandaged head, arrives in town. When the athletic young man attacks his father a second time, he barely escapes hanging. Even Pegeen deserts him. Like the others, she is afraid to get involved in a murder so close to home. Disgusted with the villagers, he is determined to be a playboy somewhere else.

Margaret Flaherty

Margaret Flaherty (Pegeen Mike), the wild, sharp-tongued daughter of publican Flaherty. Enraptured by the poetic utterances and valor of young Christy, she resists the blandishments of Shawn Keogh, her cousin whom she is to marry. After hearing of Christy’s brave attack on his father and seeing his prowess on the playing field, she thinks Shawn too cowardly for her taste. She is ready to betray Christy, however, when he attacks his father again.

Widow Quin

Widow Quin, a scheming young woman of about thirty. Hearing of the arrival of the brave young stranger, she tries to coax him away...

(The entire section is 593 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Jimmy Farrell
Jimmy is a forty-five-year-old "amorous" villager who flatters Pegeen when he visits the pub. He and his...

(The entire section is 1051 words.)