The Playboy of the Western World Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Act 1, Pegeen is engaged to marry:

2. Shawn reacts to Christy's employment by:

3. Pegeen's discussion with Christy after her father leaves is interrupted by:

4. What do both Shawn and Michael James claim to hear from a ditch on the side of the road that evening?

5. The setting of Act 1 takes place:

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the role that religion plays in the story?

2. What is a comfort to the Widow Quin at the end of Act 2?

3. What does Pegeen lament at the end of the play?

4. Describe the Widow Quin's character in terms of doing people favors.

5. What do Michael and Shaun report has finally arrived?

6. Describe the two rivalries that are apparent by Act II.

7. What of man if Christy's father, according to Christy?

8. What deal does the Widow Quin offer in exchange for her help with Shaun's problem?

9. Why is dispensation needed for Shawn to marry Pegeen?

10. What plan do Christy and the Widow devise when Old Mahon comes to town looking for Christy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the significance of characters' physical appearance in the play. Write an essay in which you a) Discuss the change in Christy's appearance and its significance to his characterization; b) Discuss the difference between Shaun and Christy's appearance as they are described by the author, and consider the significance of this to Pegeen's actions; or 3) Consider the significance of Pegeen's appearance, as it is described by the author, to the events of the play and the actions of the male characters.

Essay Topic 2

Synge's use of humor extends to every character in the play. Write an essay considering:

1) The effect of Synge's humor on the more serious events of the play.


2) Any humorous event or line of dialogue that directly affects the outcome of events in the play.


3) The influence of humor on the development of theme in the play.

Essay Topic 3

Consider the motif of unknown and unseen dangers in The Playboy of The Western World. Write an essay in which you:

1) Examine the characters' various reactions to unknown and unseen dangers.


2) Examine the possible effects of the motif on the events of the play.


3) Consider the significance of the motif on the theme of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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