Essay on Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O’Neill

In my report I plan to prove that Eugene O’Neill’s life affected the content and main ideas of his plays. I will go through moments in Eugene’s life that were significant, then I will compare them to plays that Eugene made. Eugene’s parents’ life also played an important role in his own life. Eugene’s parents had rough lives full of scandal, depression, and drugs. These moments affected Eugene’s life. Points in his life that affected him that he wrote about mainly were about the forces behind human life. His plays were built around drama. Eugene is credited with rising up American Theater from its narrow roots. His career as a playwright consisted of three periods: realist plays, expressionistic plays, and then his return to realism. I will analyze his life and explain how these moments in life affected his plays.Eugene (Gladstone) O’Neill was born in New York City on October 16, 1888. O’Neill won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936, and Pulitzer prizes for four of his plays: Beyond the Horizon (1920); Anna Christie (1922); Strange Interlude (1928); And Long Days Journey Into Night (1957). Eugene O’Neill iscredited with raising American dramatic theater from its narrow origins to an art form respected around the world. He is considered by many to be the most important writer in the American theater and was known for trying to define human problems in his works. (Gelb 45)

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Eugene was described as being “born afraid”(Sheaffer 4). His entrance into the world was long and painful for his mother. Born 11 pounds (which was large for an infant), Eugene’s entrance into the world was achieved with difficulty. He was born in the Barrett House; a family-style hotel at the no…

… was his one love, Eugene is hit harder by the close deaths of his father, mother, and brother. This led Eugene into deep depression and mourning for the last twenty years of his life.

Eugene O’Neill remains to most, the best playwright in The American Theater. He revolutionized theater in ways that could only be imagined at that time. O’Neill’s life was full of tragedy and grief; with this his plays were affected by his

whole attitude and outlook on life, which was realistically. Eugene O’Neill wanted his audience to feel what he went through in life; all his pain, all his anguish, all his suffering. If O’Neill could make the audience feel for at least one second how he felt for all the years of his life, then he was satisfied. “Before O’Neill,” one writer would later sum up, “the US had theater; after O’Neill, it had drama.”(Sheaffer 481)

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