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. The play was first published in the year:

2. Shawn will not stay the night because:

3. When Pegeen and the men hear Christy's secret, they are:

4. The responsibility of barkeep in Michael James' establishment falls to:

5. The argument between the Widow Quin and Pegeen involves:

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Jimmy, Philly, and Michael James think that Christy will make a suitable potboy?

2. What does Pegeen imagine Christy's life must have been like before she meets him?

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

4. What finally saves Christy from being hanged?

5. What occurs between Christy and Old Mahon when the crowd arrives and learns the truth?

6. What is the nature of Christy and Pegeen's conversation after the crowd disperses in Act 3?

7. Why didn't Old Mahon leave town?

8. Why is Christy so upset to see his father in the village?

9. What does the Widow Quin mean when she calls Christy "The Playboy of the Western World?"

10. Describe the manner in which Pegeen treats Shawn and explain why.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

OR

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

OR

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

Essay Topic 2

There are several plans for weddings and wakes in Synge's play. Write an essay in which you a) discuss the significance of any plan for a wedding or a wake to the events of the play; b) discuss the significance of any wedding or wake to the theme of the play; or c) discuss the significance of the contrasting motifs to the theme of the play.

Essay Topic 3

In Act 3, Philly and Jimmy have an extended discussion about skulls. Write an essay in which you consider a) The symbolic meaning of skulls in Act 3; b) The characterization of Philly and Jimmy through their discussion of skulls; or c) The significance of the exposition revealed in Philly and Jimmy's conversation to the theme of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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