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. What does Michael James expect Shawn to do in Michael's absence?

2. Pegeen's approximate age in the play is:

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

4. Act 1 begins with Pegeen:

5. As Michael James meets and converses with Christy, he addresses him as:

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Pegeen say she is the fright of seven townlands?

2. What is Christy's reaction when his father enters the pub?

3. What changes Pegeen's mind about marriage to Christy?

4. What do Shawn's reservations about staying with Pegeen before their marriage suggest about his character?

5. Why do so many townspeople accompany Christy back to the pub?

6. Why does Old Mahon's story arouse suspicion for Philly?

7. Why is it not in Christy's best interests to tell everyone the story of how he murdered his dad?

8. What is significant about Old Mahon's description of his son?

9. Why does the Widow Quin try to convince the others that Old Mahon is crazy?

10. Describe the relationship between Pegeen and her father, Michael.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

J.M. Synge said, "On the stage one must have reality, and one must have joy." Write an essay in which you:

1) Describe The Playboy of the Western World as a play about either reality or joy.


2) Identify examples of both reality and joy in the, confirming Synge's assertion.


3) Challenge, Defend, or qualify Synge's assertion using examples from the text to support your argument.

Essay Topic 2

Consider the female roles apparent in Synge's play. Write an essay in which you:

1) List the available roles for females in Synge's play and identify the author's attitude toward each.


2) Describe the roles of the female characters in Synge's play and describe the significance of each to the events of the play.


3) Describe Synge's purpose in developing the female roles present in the play, and the significance of these roles to the themes of the play.

Essay Topic 3

Consider the various symbols used in the play. Write an essay in which you:

1) Identify any symbol and its meaning in the play; then connect the development of the symbol to the theme of the play.


2) Identify any character as symbolic of Synge's statements regarding Ireland in the preface to the play.


3) Identify any belief the characters espouse as symbolic, and connect the belief to the them of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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