englishpegeen - Pegeen: Manipulator or Manipulated? Pegeen...

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Pegeen: Manipulator or Manipulated? Pegeen understands how to capitalize on her feminine assets to take control and dominate a relationship in The Playboy of the Western World. With her powers of charm and persuasion she overcomes Christy’s weak-minded character and grabs his heart. Pegeen also employs her skills to manipulate the other villagers in the town to cater to her whims. She feigns weakness and acts vulnerable when it is in her best interest; however, her facade quickly crumbles in the face of opposition. It betrays a simmering temper that lies close beneath the surface. When the play opens, Pegeen is terrified of being left “lonesome in these twelve hours of dark” with her “own teeth rattling with fear.” (6) She acts convincingly frightened of the harvest boys, ten tinkers and thousands of militia “walking idle through the land.” (6) When Pegeen and her father Michael try talking Shawn, Pegeen’s fiancé, into staying the night to protect her, he will have no part in it. He fears wrath of the church and rightly so. Pegeen’s request initially appears innocent enough, but at closer inspection she reveals a more dubious side. She flirts with him, asking if it’s the decent thing to do “to be leaving a poor girl with her own self counting the hours to the dawn of day?” (4) When Shawn still doesn’t agree to stay she turns on him sharply revealing herself as a not-so-docile woman. It would be absolutely immoral in the churches eyes to have Shawn spend the night with her and still she commands him to do
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englishpegeen - Pegeen: Manipulator or Manipulated? Pegeen...

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