Tragedy Within the Plays of Eugene O’Neill

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Tragedy Within the Plays of Eugene O’Neill

In most plays, the genre of tragedy is created from the situation that a heroine is taking down by the obstacles they wish to remove. When a spectator watches a tragedy is instills excitement and also pity. Two key parts to a tragedy are an ending to a tragic hero and a tragic hero. In O’Neill’s Long Days Journey into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten he really bring the drama of Greek tragedy into a modern sense.

Long day’s journey into night can relate back to Greek drama. Both are of a man or woman that struggles with an intangible entity. The one in Greek drama is the gods and in O’Neill’s play it’s with the past. The tragic heroes in this play are Freud and Jung. Their cognizant ego is what leads to their tragic downfall. In the beginning of the story O’Neill opens with a typical day with the Tyrone family. They used to be a close family but over the years the dug addiction Mary has developed has torn them apart. Mary’s addiction isn’t the only thing that has affected the family greatly. The alcoholism developed with Jamie Tyrone and Edmund plays a toll as well as Tyrone’s stinginess and the pessimistic attitude the son has towards the future.

In the play the four main characters hate life. They resort back to the past by drinking and drugs. They remember the past as a better life and that is why they do it. Mary is the only one that comes off as normal out of the four. She is the special one even though she is the most tragic. She used to have big dreams and strong belief in her faith. She wanted to become a professional piano player and sister of god. It all fell apart when she fell in love and got married. It was her marriage that destroyed her bi...

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... to be. He has no dreams left and the only thing that could relieve his pain and this burden he has on his shoulders is sweet death.

These plays have people that have just lost their ways. They have gone down roads to which they can’t back track and get back to whom they used to be before the pain and agony. As stated in the introduction of this essay a t tragedy is created from the situation that a heroine is taking down by the obstacles they wish to remove. Though they weren’t other people heroines, they were heroines to themselves. Their addictions or burdens were just too much for them to handle and it was their downfall. I close with what Eugene O’Neill wrote to Carlotta, his wife of just a month. He said “To face my dead at last and write this play…. write it with deep pity and understanding and forgiveness for all the four haunted Tyrone’s”.
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