The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act play written by the Irish playwright and folklorist John Millington Synge in 1907. Set in a pub in western Ireland in the early 1900s, the play tells the story of a young man who attains a hero-like status among the local villagers by telling a rousing story about having murdered his father. He relates his story in an engaging style using an Irish dialect known as Hiberno-English. When the play premiered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin on January 26, 1907, riots broke out as some felt the plot was immoral and offensive to Ireland. Even so, the play remains an influential work in Irish literary history.


Read the scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, a Full Book Summary, or Full Book Analysis of The Playboy of the Western World.


See a complete Character List for The Playboy of the Western World, as well as in-depth analysis of its most important characters.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in The Playboy of the Western World.


Here's where you'll find important quotes from The Playboy of the Western World and explanations of them.


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