The Playboy of the Western World, Paperback Book

The Playboy of the Western World Paperback

Edited by Malcolm Kelsall

Part of the New Mermaids series


Synge, who came from a middle-class Protestant family near Dublin, created a huge scandal at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, where The Playboy was staged in 1907, because its audience did not take kindly to a comedy that seemed to portray the Irish as violent, superstitious sots and swaggerers.

Synge relied on and at the same time mocked the Irish dramatic movement and its ambition to create realistic drama that was also poetically beautiful.

The play is set 'near a village, on a wild coast of Mayo'.

On the first day, a stranger arrives and declares that he is on the run because he has killed his father - for this, the villagers turn him into a hero.

On the second day, however, his father arrives walking wounded, and although Christy knocks him down with a spade, his father seems impossible to kill.

The set off together, still quarrelling, and the villagers are bereft of their excitement.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages, c 5 photographs/line drawings
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780713643220

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