The Playboy of the Western World Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 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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Social Conventions

Although there are a few independent characters in the play, like the Widow Quin and Pegeen when she challenges male authority, most act according to social conventions. Shawn Keogh is the most conservative member of the community, refusing to step outside the boundaries set by the Catholic Church. He will not marry Pegeen until he has permission from the Vatican to do so, and he even refuses to be alone with her in fear of the Church's disapproval. Although most in the community consider Shawn's conservatism a mark of cowardice, they follow certain social standards as well. All consider Christy a hero since their community considers this type of rebellion praiseworthy.

Synge illustrates their devotion to convention by sending groups of people to listen to and approve of Christy's story. First, two local men, Jimmy Farrell and Philly O'Cullen, arrive and soon champion him for his bravery...

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This section contains 464 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Playboy of the Western World Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Playboy of the Western World from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.