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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2006

Michael Manheim
Affiliation:
University of Toledo, Ohio
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Summary

Not many today question the pre-eminence of Eugene O'Neill as America's leading playwright. The playwrights who followed him - Williams, Miller, and Albee, and, more recently, dramatists like Sam Shepard, David Mamet, and Tony Kushner - all have acknowledged their profound debt to him, as have younger playwrights in countries as remote from one another as Sweden and China. He is internationally recognized as the quintessential American dramatist of the twentieth-century world stage. Some are uncomfortable with what occasionally seems the melodramatic excess of even his most successful plays. There have been and continue to be vociferous nay-sayers about the playwright's work. But they are a relatively small minority, and many of those who express reservations about the excesses of earlier plays acknowledge that he “forged” those excesses (to use Jean Chothia's word) into a uniquely powerful medium that culminated in America's greatest tragedy, Long Day's Journey Into Night.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1998

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Manheim, University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Eugene O'Neill
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL052155389X.001
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Manheim, University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Eugene O'Neill
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL052155389X.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Manheim, University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Eugene O'Neill
  • Online publication: 28 May 2006
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL052155389X.001
Available formats
×