The Role of Imagination in The Playboy of Western World by John Millington Synge
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Imagination according to Oxford English Dictionary is defined as “the mind's creativity and resourcefulness to invent images which have the tendency to form ideas which do not correspond to reality.” In “The Playboy of Western World” by John Millington Synge, the presence of imagination directs the outcome of the play. Synge uses Christy as a substitution to the existence of boredom, fear and insecurity.
Christy gave a remark “I did not then. I just riz the loy and let fall the edge of it on the ridge of his skull, and he went down at my feet like an empty sack, and never let a grunt or groan from him at all.” Synge uses “just riz and loy” to describe the size of the weapon and emphasis the characters braveness for using such slight weapon to bring down his father who is supposed to be stronger. This word choice express the level of pride of defeat and the end of cowardness for the Playboy. Whiles Christy was describing the murderous act, it is thoroughly significant to take notice of the motion of Mahon fall; “went down at my feet like an empty sack.” The “empty sack” can be associated with the lack of power, and dignity as a man. Synge includes this dramatic fall to highlight Christy in a kingly manner; like a king, people of less authority fall at their feet. Also it could be said that the fall represents Christy’s legacy.
Jimmy said “Bravery’s a treasure in a lonesome place.” Since the society is filled with boredom, fear and insecurity, the presence of a young man with the courage to kill his father becomes an example of a hero. Synge includes this to demonstrate the readiness of desperate places in the western world like the county of Mayo to accept murderers under certain conditions as an act of heroism. At the beginni...
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...en though there was a period when Christy came out of his world of imagination, he run back to it because of his fear of the harsh world. Without his imaginary tale, his heroic title doesn’t exit and his legacy will be scripted on the memory of County Mayo as a deceiver. Christy stated “What’ll Pegeen say when she hears that story? What’ll she be saying to me now?” Synge uses this consistent questioning to assure the readers of the range of fear Christy is faced with; his fear that the whole world and even Pegeen is against him and see him as a hypocrite.
In conclusion, Synge places Christy into the world of imagination to communicate a broader message. The long false storytelling and fantasy are as important as the action because bravery of talk is an adequate substitute for brave deeds. Therefore, Christy’s imagination becomes a legacy of heroism in Mayo.