Gallous Stories or Dirty Deeds? Representing Parricide in J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Green Criminology book series (PSGC)


This chapter tries to uncover the violence between humans rather than that by humans against animals. Its focus is J.M. Synge’s oddly neglected play Playboy of the Western World. The culture wars and associated media frenzy over the play provide an ever-looming backcloth against which to interpret the meanings of intergenerational violence in a colonial society lurching towards national self-determination. Progress and failure, triumph and despair, tragedy and comedy—Playboy’s swirling plot and counterplot offer fertile ground for studies of lethal violence. Besides shedding fresh light on some of the shenanigans around Playboy, this chapter shows the worth of directing attention not only to a medium that is seldom dwelt upon, namely, the cultural productions of playwrights, but also to the social context of their performance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CriminologyUniversity of Southern MainePortlandUSA
  2. 2.University College DublinDublinIreland

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