The Playboy of the Western Worldby John Millington Synge
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
There was rioting in the streets when this play was first performed in 1907, and audiences today still find it riotously funny. The action takes place in a wayside pub near a village in County Mayo in Western Ireland. Christopher Mahon becomes a local hero when he announces to the crowd that he's killed his father.
Meet the Author
John Millington Synge was born in 1871, of Anglo-Irish Protestant land owning stock. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and then spent a few years wandering on the continent. Synge went to the Aran Islands in 1898, and subsequently revisited them several times. In the Shadow of the Glen and Riders to the Sea were both completed in the summer of 1902, and both were taken from material he had collected on the islands. The Playboy of the Western World, in which a young man lies about the death of his father offended audiences when first produced in 1907, on account of its 'immodest' references to Irish womanhood and aroused a prolonged and bitter controversy, which lasted until the author's death in 1909. His other works include a few poems and two books of travels The Aran Islands. Deirdre of the Sorrows was published posthumously.
John Millington Synge (1871-1909) is widely regarded as the greatest ever Irish dramatist. Born in Dublin in 1871, he trained first as a musician and composer, but after a meeting with W. B. Yeats in Paris, came to focus on literature, giving voice for the first time to those communities on the West Coast of Ireland. Capturing their dialect and energising their stories, the lives of the people of Connemara, and the Aran Islands were brought to life through his six great plays: In The Shadow of the Glen (1903), Riders to the Sea (1904), The Well of the Saints (1905), The Playboy of the Western World (1907), The Tinkers' Wedding (1908), and his unfinished mythological drama Deirdre of the Sorrows (performed posthumously in 1910); as well as his travel journal of his time off the coast of Ireland entitled simply The Aran Islands (1907).
A strong advocate and contributor to the nascent Abbey Theatre, Synge, along with Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, was its leading light. His premature death from Hodgkin's disease left the Irish theatre bereft of its first great genius.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews