Chapter

Conclusion: The Theater as Temple

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/9780226148823.003.0013
Conclusion: The Theater as Temple

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Democracy becomes the very expression of desire in Eugene O'Neill's historical plays. The dialectic between past and present runs through his plays. In America, liberal democracy is esteemed for guaranteeing freedom, the exercise of rights, and the possibility of opportunity for all. In O'Neill's modern American theater, characters rarely progress toward self-realization or even to the beginnings of a higher order of understanding. O'Neill was not always thinking about his family when he worked out the characters and plots for his plays. Moreover, he used America not only for the material of drama but for the theater of tragedy. It is noted that the playwright Eugene O'Neill tried to express the quality of understanding that is born only of pain and rises to perception to reach the truths of human passion.

Keywords: democracy; Eugene O'Neill; America; American theater; drama; tragedy; pain; human passion

Chapter.  4711 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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