J. M. Synge: The Playboy of the Western World

(2360 words)
  • George Cusack (University of Oklahoma)

Although John Millington Synge's masterpiece The Playboy of the Western World may be the most famous play ever produced by the Irish National Theatre, the play owes its reputation as much to the circumstances surrounding its premiere as it does to the quality of the script. When Playboy opened in January of 1907, many Irish nationalists found it so offensive that they embarked on a semi-organized campaign to bring down the production. The week-long battle which ensued, known collectively as “The Playboy Riots,” highlighted the growing rift between the moderate cultural nationalism of the National Theatre and the increasingly radical politics of the Dublin nationalist community. Yet, while the riots themselves …

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Cusack, George. "The Playboy of the Western World". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10167, accessed 30 September 2016.]