Thursday, September 21st, 2017...6:59 pmmooree

Synge’s Humor in Act 2: Christy- Murderer or Celebrity?

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At the beginning of Act 2 on page 116 starting at line 60 to line 78, the village girls, Sara and Susan, meet Christy for the first time after hearing word of his crime in town. This meeting is humorous to me because after asking Christy if he is the man who killed his father and he replies yes, they greet him with more than open arms. Sara even gives him “a thousand welcomes”, showing how these women are not even slightly frightened in the presence of a murderer. The women even offer him more food since they have heard of his “long journey”. Susan says, “And I run up with a pat of butter, for it’d be a poor thing to have you eating your spuds dry, and you after running a great way since you did destroy your da.” (Lines 69-71) The fact that these village women are greeting a criminal in this way is extremely ridiculous and therefore funny. To make this scene even more comical, I imagine that when Sara is asking, “is it you’s the man killed his father” that Christy is cowering and looking very afraid, as if he is about to run and hide. Then once the women welcome him openly, his stature visibly grows and he puffs his chest out in order to woo these ladies. He also would recite his lines past this point in a “tough and proud” manner. I imagine these women are impressed with Christy and are offering him cake and butter for his potatoes as if he is a famous hero who has just succeeded in battle, with long drawn out voices and batting their eyelashes at him. The women would be starstruck by Christy.


  • I was imagining the same thing when I read this passage. It really is incredibly ridiculous that the women respond so enthusiastically to this man whom they know to be a murderer. However, after learning in Friday‚Äôs class about what the ladies were implying with the foods they were offering, this scene takes on even more absurdity.

  • Emma,
    I loved this scene in Act Two as well, and I like your visualizing of Christy as some kind of celebrity or perhaps a hero who has returned from battle for doing something honorable/praiseworthy. I think exaggeration is key here: the women batting their eyelashes, offering Christy cake and butter, smiling & flirting. What do you think about Christy wearing a costume that exaggerated this even more? Perhaps a really outrageous shiny suit or a uniform of some sort?

  • I love how you picture Christy cowering from the women when they first approach him. I think it is an interesting parallel to how Christy interacts with Pegeen and how the stage directions specify that he has never seen a woman before.

  •   Professor Seiler
    September 25th, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Emma–nice job on this post, and especially in visualizing the “exaggeration” of speech and movement that seems to be called for in this scene. I also love the idea of Christy having gussied up in some borrowed clothes, so that he’s even more preening in front of the “girls.”

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