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The Playboy of the Western World Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Playboy of the Western World.
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Historical Context

Birth of the Irish Theater

At the end of the nineteenth century, Irish writers were divided between two impulses: to express the nostalgia of the heroic legends of the past and to illustrate the beliefs and struggle of the home-rule movement. They met in Dublin, as that city's theater became an artistic representation of Irish country life and legends as well as the politics of the age.

In the 1890s, the Irish middle and upper classes clamored for literature that reflected the nationalistic spirit of the age. They turned their interest to the tales of Ireland's heroic past, recorded by folklorists like Douglas Hyde who studied the Irish language still spoken by the inhabitants of the western coast of the island. William Butler Yeats, who had already established himself as an important Irish poet, discovered the store of poetic material in the stories of this part of the...

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This section contains 612 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Playboy of the Western World Study Guide
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The Playboy of the Western World from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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