Today, John Millington Synge is regarded as one of the truly great Irish writers, author of the significant and lasting plays, prose and poetry in this Wordsworth Poetry Library edition. Synge wrote his six plays at the time when the majority of Irish people were campaigning to end the cruel British colonial rule and were attempting to create an independent nation. Ireland's art was interwoven with its strident politics.
The Playboy of the western World is now widely regarded as his finest achievement despite the 1907 sense of outrage at its first production. Synge's representation of women as less than the Catholic ideal was heavily criticised. Synge's background was in stark contrast to the ever more influential Catholic bourgeoisie and its desire to oust the ruling Protestant landlord class. Synge was an ardent chronicler of the Aran islanders, he wrote down their stories and lifestyle and recreated their short lives in his plays. Synge learnt Irish and enjoyed living among the islanders of Inis Meain. Synge's stone chair where he enjoyed relaxing times on the cliffs remains in his memory to this day.
Synge's insight into a life long passed was unmatched.