Eugene O Neill's Contribution To The National Theatre

966 Words4 Pages
I decided to write on my essay on Eugene O’ Neill because he has contributed so much to the field of theatre. Eugene O'Neill's greatest plays, was presented by the National Theatre in 2003 celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the playwright's death. A reworking of the “Oresteia” trilogy by Aeschylus and the Electra tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides, O’Neill’s epic American tragedy of hatred, passion, jealousy and greed is set in New England after the Civil War. Using Freud’s theories, as O’Neill had done earlier in “Strange Interlude,” he now views classical drama (as had Freud) as a rich field for exploration of character motivation. Eugene did so much for theatre; he also was the first American dramatist to regard the stage as a literary medium and the first U.S. playwright to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1922, O'Neill brought his drama Anna Christie to the Broadway stage; this tale of a prostitute's return home netted the playwright his second Pulitzer Prize. O'Neill suffered a personal loss with the death of his brother the following year. By this time, the playwright had also lost both of his parents. But O'Neill's private struggles seemed to aid him in creating greater dramatic works for the stage, including Desire Under the Elms (1924) andStrange Interlude (1928). Around this time, O'Neill left his second wife and quickly began a relationship with Carlotta Monterey, whom he married in 1929. O'Neill re-imagined the mythic tragedy Oresteia in Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), exchanging ancient Greece for New England in the 19th century. Five years later, he became the first American playwright to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was given this honor "for the power, honesty and deep-felt emo... ... middle of paper ... ...ses to perception to reach the truths of human passion. For life to be felt as noble, it must be seen as tragic." His great final play, Long Day's Journey into Night, finally tells the story of the O'Neill family as he had come to understand it. On one painful day in 1912, Edmund Tyrone learns that he has tuberculosis, and his mother, Mary, falls back into her morphine addiction after the latest effort at a cure; her husband and sons battle despair as she flees from her loneliness. He paved way for a new era of drama and made sure his plays were a great legacy to leave behind to influence other play writers to follow into his footsteps. His works were well known, and have major influence on the playwrights in today’s society dealing with plays, Tv shows, and movies. His ideas were a way of changing the culture aspect of playwrights and the sociopolitical reasoning.

    More about Eugene O Neill's Contribution To The National Theatre

      Open Document