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John Millington Synge.

Famous Irish People.

John Millington Synge


Synge was an Irish dramatist and leader in the Irish literary revival. He was born in Rathfarnham Co Dublin of an Anglo-Irish family and educated at Trinity College, Dublin.

Synge worked in Paris as a literary critic, in 1896 he met W. B. Yeats, who prevailed upon him to return to Ireland, this he did but not until 1898. He began to study the life and customs of his people and joined the movement for the revival of the Irish language and legends.

His first two plays, Shadow of the Glen and Riders to the Sea, both of which were drawn from the life of the Irish peasantry, were produced in 1903 and 1904, by the new Irish National Theater Society, which became the Abbey Theater in 1904.

His masterpiece is generally considered to be the comedy 'The Playboy of the Western World', when it was produced in 1907 it caused an outcry, the people of Dublin took as an insult Synge's humorous treatment of the Irish people's, their love of boasting and tendency to glamorize those who lived outside the law, a reference to the story of James Lynchehaun and his connection with Valley House on Achill Isalnd County Mayo.

However the play eventually became a classic and the cornerstone of the Abbey Theater repertory. Other works by Synge include the play The Well of the Saints (1905), a collection of essays entitled The Aran Islands (1907), and the unfinished play Deirdre of the Sorrows, which was produced in 1910.

Quotation by J M Synge.

One wonders in this place, why anyone is left in Dublin, or London, or Paris where it would be better, one would think to live in a tent or hut, with this magnificent sea and sky, and to breathe this wonderful air which is like wine in one's teeth.

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