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A Study of the Absurd Features in Eugene O’Neill’s Plays

Author LvHongYan
Tutor GuoJiDe
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Theatre of the Absurd Modern Western society Absurdity Anti-traditional
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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Eugene O'Neill is by far the United States is the only playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He has not only been recognized as \He is the first to explore the serious dramatic themes and test a variety of dramatic techniques dramatist. In the history of American theater, O'Neill only had four Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. 1920, \Subsequently, \When O'Neill died on November 27, 1953, \In its long theatrical career, O'Neal continues to try a variety of theatrical styles and forms, offer the audience the many colorful artistic style of the world's famous tragedy. The theme of his plays serious, innovative themes involving vast fields, is unique in the history of American theater. It is based on his contribution to the development of modern American drama, O'Neal along with Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw, is considered the greatest playwright in the English theater stage. So far, at home and abroad about O'Neal can be said to bear fruitful results. Strong autobiographical features embodied in their works, typical Expressionist style, mysterious oriental religious overtones, the impact of Freudian psychology and its ideas of ancient Greek tragedy, inheritance, etc., are researchers widespread concern topic. With the development of the Western feminist movement of the 1960s, from a feminist point of view on the interpretation of O'Neill's plays criticized gradually become a new hot spot. However, the the absurdity characteristics embodied O'Neill has not been systematically evaluated and Interpretation, although critics have occasionally mentioned some of his absurdist dramatist Samuel Beckett similar or point out the specific works Some of the same point. Indeed, as the United States is the greatest, most pioneering spirit of the dramatist, O'Neill has been aware of those absurdist dramatist who was the extensive use of dramatic techniques and theatrical performance practices. This article is for the purpose of research combing O'Neill drama reflects the absurdity characteristics. I believe that this process will enrich an Interpretation of O'Neill. Research O'Neill absurd characteristics will become a unique and important method of appreciation and evaluation O'Neill. This thesis consists of three parts. The first part is an introduction, a brief description of the Eugene O'Neill and his works: including its contribution to modern American drama and O'Neal Research Summary; same time for a brief introduction on the definition of \Finally, it is pointed out that the purpose of this paper is to study the the absurd characteristics combing O'Neill and clarify this process helps to further enrich the interpretation of the works of O'Neill. The second part is a detailed exposition of the absurd characteristics O'Neill. The section consists of four chapters: the first chapter points out the absurdity of content is one of the main features of the Theatre of the Absurd. Absurd dramatists like O'Neill in its theatrical creation also exposed the absurdity of the world and life is meaningless. This chapter consists of three parts. Discussed in the first part of O'Neill drama embodied life meaningless this feature. The second section deals with the O'Neill drama reveals the absurdity of the relationship between the man and the world. The third part, the relationship between the absurd world where people are absurd. The second chapter discusses the use of \This chapter consists of three main parts. The first part discusses the characteristics embodied in the \Like the characters in the theater of the absurd, O'Neill shape their plays are also some loss of individuality, insignificant figures, they are not used to represent a particular social group is to be used as a symbol of the entire mankind. The second part, plot no plot and circulation structure O'Neill, especially are reflected in the drama of his later creative. These characteristics are very similar to the Theatre of the Absurd. Part III focuses on interpretation of the devaluation of language characteristics are also reflected in O'Neill. In an absurd world, the language has lost its traditional exchanges function. The third chapter discusses the O'Neill embodies the characteristics of to blur traditional theater genre, this feature is also very typical in the theater of the absurd. O'Neill's \began to actively explore their own dramatic style. The combination of the fact that the author of the O'Neill play tragedy factors and Comedy factors detailed explanation, and its aim to enhance their work in the form of comedy tragic. The fourth chapter aims to explain the source of the consciousness of absurdity O'Neal formed in its theatrical creation. The authors first O'Neill in the process of theatrical creation formed their own absurd interpretation of consciousness, followed by O'Neal absurd awareness of sources. This chapter includes three parts: philosophical sources, religious sources and social sources. The first part irrationalism O'Neal absurd consciousness generated by relatively large, especially by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, two aspects of the representative of irrationalism. By Schopenhauer's influence, O'Neill holds a pessimistic attitude towards life and the world, this absurdist dramatist's thinking is the same. Nietzsche relatively radical and more revolutionary, prompting O'Neal always their responsibility to \The second part is mainly explained O'Neill ambivalent attitude to religion is another important factor in its absurd consciousness formed. The third part is intended to O'Neal's social-political-economic background and the Absurd dramatists are very similar. This makes him realize and reveal the absurdity of the world become possible. The third part of the paper concluded: on the basis of summarizing the analysis of the previous chapters, the author further explained in O'Neill's work has indeed shows many of the characteristics of the Theatre of the Absurd; This fact clearly shows that O'Neal has long acutely aware of the meaningless nature of human existence and the survival of the world's absurdity. In its work by trying to use a new, anti-traditional means of artistic expression, The O'Neill striving to make true representation of the absurdity of modern Western society. From absurd angles to study the works of far-reaching significance for the understanding of O'Neill's real creative intent.

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