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. Pegeen is like her father in that they are both:

2. At the beginning of Act 1, Pegeen is complaining because:

3. The setting of Act 1 takes place:

4. Considering the Irish dialect used by the author, the term "da" means:

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the irony in the villagers enthusiasm and acceptance of Christy Mahon.

2. How does the Widow try to dissuade Philly and Jimmy from following Old Mahon?

3. What is Shawn afraid of?

4. Explain how Christy says he murdered his da.

5. What does the Widow learn from Old Mahon about Christy's former love life?

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

7. What is Pegeen's job?

8. How does Old Mahon finally see Christy?

9. What is fueling Christy's newfound confidence?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Consider the characters who act with caution and those who act upon impulse in the play. Write an essay in which you consider:

1) What effect do acts of caution and impulse have on the events of the play?


2) Which characters seem happier in the play: those who act with caution, or those who act upon impulse.


3) Which characters are portrayed as cautious and which are portrayed as impulsive. Why might the author portray them this way?

Be sure to use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Consider the contrasting motifs of impulse and caution in the play. Then write an essay in which you a) Identify three examples of impulse or caution that directly affect the course of events in the play; b) Compare and contrast an impulsive character and a cautious character; or c) Directly relate the motifs of impulse and caution to the theme of the play using examples of characters' behavior to support your point.

Essay Topic 3

Characters voice and exhibit both rational and irrational fears throughout the play. Considering these fears, write an essay in which you:

1) Identify any common fear among the villagers and qualify it as rational or irrational.


2) Identify any character as the most fearful in the play, supporting your ideas with examples from the text.


3) Identify any fear as the most significant motivating factor in the play, supporting your ideas with examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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