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Thread: Playboy centenary

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    Playboy centenary

    This topic was originally started by Chris76, but accidentally got erased, but I am able to re-post portions of it, starting on page 2


    Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
    Just a little note for all the fans of J.M.Synge, Next month (21st Jan 07)
    is the one hundred aniversary of the first ever performance of the Playboy Of The Western World. It Is also the Aniversary of The Riots in the Abbey theatre dublin caused by the first ever performance of the Playboy!

    Hopefully the Abbey Theatre Put on the play next month to celebrate!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
    Does my accent really come true in my writing?
    Originally Posted by JackShea
    Not a'tall! But I am a dreamer and when I wrote that I was probably dreaming I was at the Abbey Theatre...or The Druid in Galway.
    ............
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    Originally Posted by Chris76

    We`re dealing with Synge`s Playboy at university at the moment. Therefore I`m glad to have found this forum with some experts on Synge involved.

    I really wonder whether Synge was ahead of his time writing the Playboy. Yeats and Co. were still trying to create some Irish identity basically on old myths and folk-tales. They did this like numerous scholars on the continent in their countries, e.g. Germany, Italy and numerous Slavian countries. Everybody tried to create a nation these days. All had one thing in common. They tried to define their languages as distinct from other languages and they tried to revive a"glorious" past, both in order to create a nation. The Irish, being the oldest colony of Great Britain, had no lesser right to struggle for a nation of their own than the other countries who had by the time the Irish Revival reached its peak mostly established their own nations already.

    But Synge portrayed the Irish peasants as superstitious and easy to manipulate. Did he foresee the dangers of nationalism? Did he realize how narrow-minded people can get, that have but one thing to identify, namely their nation?
    What do you think?
    .....................
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris76 View Post
    The Irish, being the oldest colony of Great Britain..
    Originally Posted by JackShea
    Well for one, and this is my opinion, the Irish never considered themselves a colony at all but an occupied nation. But I leave the question/answers open to those who were born on Irish soil.
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    Originally Posted by Virgil
    Niamh, did you want to have a group reading and discussion of the play?
    ...........................
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackShea View Post
    the Irish never considered themselves a colony at all but an occupied nation.
    Originally Posted by Chris76
    You`re right: the Irish probably dislike the term colony and you`re also right in saying they were an occupied nation. (Please forgive my language not being as exact, Im not a native speaker.) But in my understanding you could indeed speak of a deFacto-colony, if the governmental power that affects everyday life is a foreign one for some hundred years.

    Nevertheless, I posted this to discuss Synge being a foreseer of the dangerous sides of nationalism or not.
    Please consider: the play Playboy of the Western world nowadays is quite a funny one to read or see on stage, but why did the people protest in 1907?
    .............................
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris76
    We`re dealing with Synge`s Playboy at university at the moment. Therefore I`m glad to have found this forum with some experts on Synge involved.


    I really wonder whether Synge was ahead of his time writing the Playboy. Yeats and Co. were still trying to create some Irish identity basically on old myths and folk-tales. They did this like numerous scholars on the continent in their countries, e.g. Germany, Italy and numerous Slavian countries. Everybody tried to create a nation these days. All had one thing in common. They tried to define their languages as distinct from other languages and they tried to revive a"glorious" past, both in order to create a nation. The Irish, being the oldest colony of Great Britain, had no lesser right to struggle for a nation of their own than the other countries who had by the time the Irish Revival reached its peak mostly established their own nations already.

    But Synge portrayed the Irish peasants as superstitious and easy to manipulate. Did he foresee the dangers of nationalism? Did he realize how narrow-minded people can get, that have but one thing to identify, namely their nation?
    What do you think?
    Originally Posted by Niamh
    Yes i do believe Synge was a head of his time when writing his Plays, Hence why most were not fully appriciated until well after Ireland gained it's independence. I also believe that he was more realistic in his portrayal. You have to note that Synge lived for a while amonst the Irish people in the west, many of which still lived relatively simple lives compared to the lives of people in Dublin. The portrayal of the Aran islanders as viewed in some of his plays, and his Prose 'the Aran Islands' was more or less what had been shown in the first ever film shot in ireland in c1900, also called 'The Aran Islands'. (The story that the Playboy was based on can be found in this book) A lot of these people were very supersticious, and the Irish were notoriously supersticious. still are to some degree!
    Also only a few years before, a man called Michael Cleary murdered his wife claiming that she had been swapped by the fairies and the body they found was infact that of a changling. (There goes home rule!)

    It might be interesting for you to know that Synge spent a few years living in Germany. While there he did some translations of Petrarch and a few others.
    Quote Originally Posted by JackShea View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris76 View Post
    The Irish, being the oldest colony of Great Britain..

    Well for one, and this is my opinion, the Irish never considered themselves a colony at all but an occupied nation. But I leave the question/answers open to those who were born on Irish soil.
    Originally Posted by Niamh
    You're right. i dont think we ever did class ourselves as a colony. more like an oppressed nation. Everytime the Irish fought for their freedom the english squashed us like bugs and reinvaded us.(seeing as most of the rebels were originally anglo Irish aristocrats) Ever wondered why a country as old as ireland only to this day has a 4million population? most of it was because of the english. the plantations, Oliver Cromwell and his 'to hell or to Connaght' (reason why irish is mainly only spoken in the west), their lack of assistance during the famine etc. Ireland was regarded by the english as the Troublesome colony though! we didnt stop fighting them for 800 years!
    Originally Posted by Virgil
    Niamh, did you want to have a group reading and discussion of the play?
    Originally Posted by Niamh
    I think that might be a good idea. It would be a nice way of celebrating the 'Playboy'. how would one go about arranging it?
    ...........................
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    Originally posted by Virgil

    I'll start the thread tomorrow and try to rally interest. Worst case, it might just be you and me. Will you be around lit net this weekend for discussion?
    .............................................
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    Originally posted by Niamh
    Yes i should be around this week end. Thank you Virgil. Maybe some of the people who have posted in this thread might join in?
    ...................................
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    Originally posted by Virgil

    I have started the read and discussion thread here: (link is gone now )

    All who would enjoy a fun read, please join in the discussion.
    ..........................................
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    So that's all I could grab, Virgil if you would like to re-post your discussion topic that would be great.
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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Thanks Logos. It was the other thread on this that had substantial thoughts on the play. I'm not sure I can recreate it. I guess we'll just have to move on.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    Thanks Logos.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

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    I read the last posts before the thread vanished. As far as I remember: Virgil, you asked what everybody is afraid of!

    I think the all-present fear serves the purpose to depict the characters as really weak.

    There you have Pegeen fearing to be left alone in the Pub at night, for obvious reasons. And then you have Shawn who has been chosen to marry Pegeen (!) who is even more weak and fearful. He does not even dare to spent the evening in the Pub (Shebeen is the word used, I think) to protect Pegeen, well, at least to accompany her.

    Shawn definetely is the biggest weakling of the play. And, I think, there is another side to it. Shawn repeatedly says:

    "I'm afeared of Father Reilly"

    Father Reilly remaining an off-stage character all through the play on the one hand represents Shawns profound religiosity.

    On the other hand, maybe even more important, being afeared of a Father whatsoever is a direct contrast to Christy Mahon who allegedly killed his father, meaning he hadn't been afraid at all.

    This is, I think, the reason why Pegeen falls in love with Christy. She does not want a weak, god-fearing, father-fearing Shawn-type-of-guy. She prefers a strong man, a patricide, a hero, a ...... Playboy.

    Does this sound convincing to you? What do you think?

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    Very good, Chris. That was the general gist of my post. And yes, your answer does sound convincing.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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