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The Playboy of the Western World; and Riders to the Sea
The Playboy of the Western World and Riders to the Sea
Author: J.M. Synge
An Irish comedy and an Irish tragedy.
ISBN: 238390
Publication Date: 1905
Pages: 93
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Publisher: Barnes and Noble Unwin Books
Book Type: Paperback
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Synge may be one of the forebears of Tom Stoppard. We can read any day of some cretin who falls in love with a death row inmate. Well here we are a la 1907 Ireland. A dirty, bedraggled young dawdler stumbles into an inn, promptly announces that he has murdered his da (father), falls in love with the innkeepers daughter (And she with him, no less.), and promptly becomes a popular hero. As the innkeeper and his friends are on their way to an overnight drunken wake, and the lass's local suitor refuses to stay alone with her for religious reasons, father bades our dawdler to stay with his daughter, as she will else be alone that night. Quite a compassionate parent is himself! Enter the local young widow and four young lasses: all of whom fall in love with the murderer. Next morning who should show up but da (the murdered father). But, then you knew that he wasn't really dead didn't you. You read the cast of characters! Swathed in cerebral bandages as he is, he fails to convince the local populace that he is himself. They are all convinced that he is merely another escaped nut job. Meanwhile our playboyâthe self-alleged murdererâis charming the local lasses by winning all of the fair events. Hail the return of our innkeeper from the drunken dead! Daughter and playboy want to be married. No way! He has promised her to the town wimp. Well, okay, if she loves him (playboy). But, here comes da; he argues and fights with playboy (his son). Son whacks him again. Locals try to lynch playboy. But wait again! Da is not dead yet. Everyone is disillusioned that playboy is not a murderer after all: he is merely a liar. All renounce their love for playboy. Da and playboy take their leave and all else is back as it was.


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