Eugene O'Neill, 1888-1953

Biographical note

American playwright, and Nobel laureate in Literature. His plays are among the first to introduce into American drama the techniques of realism, associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O'Neill wrote only one well-known comedy (Ah, Wilderness!). Nearly all of his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.


  • Tomorrow [1917]
    (O'Neill's only published short story tells of a suicide in a saloon where he lived in 1911. The character of Jimmy Tomorrow in "The Iceman Cometh"--see below--is also based on this character.)

Full-length plays

One-act plays

  • The Glencairn Plays [which all feature characters on the fictional ship Glencairn -- filmed together as The Long Voyage Home:]
    • Bound East for Cardiff [1914]
    • In The Zone [1917]
    • The Long Voyage Home [1917]
    • Moon of the Caribbees [1918]
  • A Wife for a Life [1913]
  • The Web [1913]
  • Thirst [1913]
  • Recklessness [1913]
  • Warnings [1913]
  • Fog [1914]
  • Abortion [1914]
  • The Movie Man: A Comedy [1914 ]
  • The Sniper [1915]
  • Before Breakfast [1916]
  • Ile [1917]
  • The Rope [1918]
  • Shell Shock [1918]
  • The Dreamy Kid [1918]
  • Where the Cross Is Made [1918]
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