Chapter

“The Greek Dream in Tragedy Is the Noblest Ever”

Edited by John Patrick Diggins

in Eugene O'Neill's America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226148809
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226148823 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226148823.003.0011
“The Greek Dream in Tragedy Is the Noblest Ever”

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Eugene O'Neill believed that tragedy reflected primarily the desperation of desire unaware of which forces are driving it to self-destruction. O'Neill attempted to make America appreciate the meaning of tragedy. Mourning Becomes Electra was his greatest work of tragedy. It was an instant success and the decisive achievement in O'Neill's winning the Nobel Prize in 1936. It also dealt with two contrary impulses that divide the Mannon family as it had in some respects divided American history in the antebellum era. A Long Day's Journey into Night was O'Neill's most revealing work. It was a deeply personal play, a memoir of pain and sorrow. The elegy remains on works that are political and personal, a mourning for what has been lost and can never be restored.

Keywords: tragedy; Eugene O'Neill; America; Mourning Becomes Electra; American history; A Long Day's Journey into Night

Chapter.  10152 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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