The Playboy of the Western World Characters

Character List

Buy Study Guide

Christy

Full name Christopher Mahon, Christy is an attractive man in his 20's. He enters the play ragged from being on the run, and reveals he has murdered his father, Old Mahon. He is quickly embraced as a hero by the residents of County Mayo, especially Pegeen Mike, to whom he is briefly engaged. The audience later learns that Christy was always a submissive, cowardly boy before striking his father, but he comes to embody the hero that he claims to be as the play progresses.

Old Mahon

Christy's father, called Old Mahon, is a mean drunk who terrorized Christy throughout the boy's childhood. He enters the play with a bleeding, bandaged head, and veers largely between being a bumbler and an angry man.

Michael James

Michael James Flaherty is father to Pegeen Mike, and the owner of the pub where the play is set. Though he makes overtures towards being respectable and moral, he is actually a heavy drinker who compromises his principles without much second thought.

Honor Blake

Honor is a giggling teenage girl, and a resident of County Mayo. She is quite smitten with Christy.

Pegeen Mike

Full name Margaret Flaherty, Pegeen Mike is the 20-year-old daughter of Michael James. She is engaged to Shawn Keogh at the top of the play, and later engaged to Christy for a short period. Though she in many ways transcends the limitations of County Mayo through her shrewd intelligence, feisty personality, and notable beauty, she nevertheless proves incapable of leaving Mayo behind when she repudiates Christy.

Widow Quin

A smart, scheming 30-year-old widow of County Mayo, Widow Quin has a pronounced dislike for Pegeen Mike. She is a shrewd woman who navigates deals with several different characters as she pursues Christy for herself. She is also a role model to the younger woman, like Honor Blake, Sarah Tansey, and Susan Brady.

Shawn

A resident of County Mayo, Shawn Keogh is a fat and fair young man in his early 20s. Though engaged to Pegeen Mike at the beginning of the play, he repulses her through his pronounced cowardice and whiny submission to the church. He is also cousin to Widow Quin.

Philly

Philly Cullen is a local farmer of County Mayo, and friend to Michael Flaherty and Jimmy Farrell.

Jimmy

Jimmy Farrell is a local farmer of County Mayo, and friend to Michael Flaherty and Philly Cullen.

Sara

Sara Tansey is a village girl, and sidekick to Widow Quin.

Susan

Susan Brady is a village girl, and sidekick to Widow Quin.

A Bellman

Though the bellman is mentioned in Synge's character list, he has only a tiny, non-speaking role in the play.

Some Peasants

Synge lists "Some Peasants" in his character list, though they have no scripted lines. However, they do provide important motivation for Christy in the final Act, as they celebrate and then mock him.

Nelly

Nelly is a village girl, and sidekick to Widow Quin.