Biography of Eugene O'Neil

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Biography of Eugene O'Neil

Eugene O'neill Through poverty and fame, "An artist or nothing"(Miller p6), was the motto of a man named Eugene O'Neill, who wrote from his soul in an attempt to find salvation. In the year 1888, the Barrett House hotel in Time Square, New York saw the birth of a man who would be called the greatest American playwright. His father James, was an actor, and was famous across the United Sates for his role in the popular play Monte Cristo. Eugene's mother was a beautiful woman named Ellen who was also gifted with a great artistic talent. Through out his life, he would travel all over the world, marry three women, have three children, and write some of the best American Drama that would ever be written. "Much of his life would be devoted to writing plays of tragic power"(David p11), and "His works reveal the unsatisfied searching of a soul for truth"(David p11). When Eugene was born, he was a great inconvenience to his parents, who already had one child, and spent most of their time traveling around the country playing in different cities. As a result of this, he was raised in the care of a Cornish nanny, keeping him isolated from the rest of his family. He would continue to spend most of his youth away from his family as he would be educated almost entirely in boarding schools. When he was still a young boy, his parents enrolled him in St. Aloysius Academy for boys in Riverdale New York. He was a good student and didn't really stand out as a youth. He passed through De La Salle Institute and actually stayed at home for the first year of school there. He attended Betts Academy which is no longer in existence today but at the time it was one of the finer preparatory schools in the nation. While he was board...

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... set the benchmark, modern authors like Lorca are trying to imitate him "O'Neil was a precursor, at least in the American theater, of themes that have come to bulk large in twentieth century literature"(Shain p2).


David, Sister Mary Agnes, SSJ, ed., Modern American Drama New York: The Macmillan Company 1965 Miller, Jordan Y., Eugene O'Neill and the American Critic Hamden Connecticut: The Shoe String Press. Inc. 1973 O'Neil, Eugene, The Plays Of Eugene O'Neil New York: Random House Inc. 1974 Raleigh, John Henry, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Iceman Cometh Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1968 Shain, Charles E., "Eugene O'Neill - The Man" Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Brian Rodgers , special collections Librarian, at Library at Connecticut College Internet Eugene O'Neill "An Artist or Nothing" English-9 7 April, 1997

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