J. M. Synge and the Ireland of his Time

  • W. B. Yeats


On Saturday, January 26, 1907, I was lecturing in Aberdeen, and when my lecture was over I was given a telegram which said, ‘Play great success.’ It had been sent from Dublin after the second act of The Playboy of the Western World, then being performed for the first time. After one in the morning, my host brought to my bedroom this second telegram, ‘Audience broke up in disorder at the word shift.’ I knew no more until I got the Dublin papers on my way from Belfast to Dublin on Tuesday morning. On the Monday night no word of the play had been heard. About forty young men had sat in the front seats of the pit, and stamped and shouted and blown trumpets from the rise to the fall of the curtain. On the Tuesday night also the forty young men were there. They wished to silence what they considered a slander upon Ireland’s womanhood. Irish women would never sleep under the same roof with a young man without a chaperon, nor admire a murderer, nor use a word like ‘shift’; nor could any one recognise the country men and women of Davis and Kickham in these poetical, violent, grotesque persons, who used the name of God so freely, and spoke of all things that hit their fancy.


Irish Woman Front Seat Tuesday Morning Great Poet Modern Drama 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Mrs W. B. Yeats 1961

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. B. Yeats

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations