The Playboy of the Western World

by

J. M. Synge

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Jimmy Farrell is one of the regulars at Michael Flaherty’s pub, and a good friend of the owner too. When Old Mahon comes to the pub looking for his son, Philly begins to suspect that the man is Christy’s father and that Christy’s story about killing his “da” might not be true.

Philly O’Cullen Quotes in The Playboy of the Western World

The The Playboy of the Western World quotes below are all either spoken by Philly O’Cullen or refer to Philly O’Cullen. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of The Playboy of the Western World published in 1993.
Act 1 Quotes

PEGEEN (with a sign to the men to be quiet). You’re only saying it. You did nothing at all. A soft lad the like of you wouldn’t slit the windpipe of a screeching sow.

CHRISTY (offended). You’re not speaking the truth.

PEGEEN (in mock rage). Not speaking the truth, is it? Would you have me knock the head of you with the butt of the broom?

CHRISTY (twisting round on her with a sharp cry of horror). Don’t strike me. I killed my poor father, Tuesday was a week, for doing the like of that.

PEGEEN (with blank amazement). Is it killed your father?

CHRISTY (subsiding). With the help of God I did surely, and that the Holy Immaculate Mother may intercede for his soul.

PHILLY (retreating with Jimmy). There’s a daring fellow.

JIMMY. Oh, glory be to God!

MICHAEL (with great respect). That was a hanging crime, mister honey. You should have had good reason for doing the like of that.

Page Number: 10-11
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

WIDOW QUIN (taking men to the right stealthily). Do you know what? That mans raving from his wound to-day, for I met him a while since telling a rambling tale of a tinker had him destroyed. Then he heard of Christy’s deed, and he up and says it was his son had cracked his skull. O isn’t madness a fright, for he’ll go killing someone yet, and he thinking it’s the man has struck him so?

JIMMY (entirely convinced). It’s a fright, surely. I knew a party was kicked in the head by a red mare, and he went killing horses a great while, till he eat the insides of a clock and died after.

PHILLY (with suspicion). Did he see Christy?

Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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Philly O’Cullen Character Timeline in The Playboy of the Western World

The timeline below shows where the character Philly O’Cullen appears in The Playboy of the Western World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Authority Theme Icon
...father, comes in. He is a “fat jovial” man and is in the company of Philly O’Cullen, “who is thin and mistrusting” and Jimmy Farrell, “who is fat and amorous.” All... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Authority Theme Icon
Michael, Jimmy, and Philly continue to eagerly question Christy, wondering if he had “followed after a young woman on... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Authority Theme Icon
...Christy replies vaguely that it was “a distant place…a windy corner of high distant hills.” Philly nods at the appropriately evasive answer. (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Pegeen, Philly, and Jimmy all agree that Christy would make an excellent pot-boy for the pub. Jimmy... (full context)
Act 3
Heroism Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Later on the same day, Jimmy and Philly converse drunkenly in the pub with nobody else around. They talk about Christy’s decisive victories... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Authority Theme Icon
As Philly and Jimmy talk more generally about skulls, Old Mahon comes in and instructs them to... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
...a drink at his request. As he gulps it down, Widow Quin tries to convince Philly and Jimmy that Mahon is a lunatic “raving from his wound.” She tells them she... (full context)
The Power of Language Theme Icon
In an effort to demonstrate Mahon’s supposed madness to Philly and Jimmy, Widow Quin asks him how he is feeling. He complains in a maudlin... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
...sands, in which Christy is participating. Widow Quin tries to get him to leave, but Philly settles Mahon on a bench with a good view of the race. All of them... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
...of his head injury. He decides he’d better leave and Widow Quin shows him out. Philly casts doubt on Widow Quin’s motives and goes after Mahon to see for himself whether... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Authority Theme Icon
The men come back in. Philly confirms to Michael that Mahon is dead. Michael, fearing that the murder will get him... (full context)