The Emperor Jones (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Digireads.com Publishing, Jan 1, 2004 - Drama
80 Reviews
Widely known as the play that gave the American dramatist Eugene O'Neill international acclaim, "The Emperor Jones" is a one-act play that follows the complete disintegration of Brutus Jones. This protagonist, formerly a Pullman porter in the United States, has escaped his criminal activity there by establishing himself as a ruler in the West Indies. O'Neill, in an experiment with Expressionism, then leads Jones through a series of hallucinations in a forest when he attempts to escape his rebellious subjects. This highly symbolic nocturnal expedition leads Jones to confront his racially black past, as well as his own personal destruction from a man of self-confidence to a cowering shadow of his previous being. O'Neill's originality was as readily apparent in 1920 as it is today, for he insisted on the first racially integrated Broadway cast, particularly with an African American actor in the lead role, in the United States; O'Neill's amazing depiction of change and transformation in "The Emperor Jones" still endures.
  

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Review: The Emperor Jones

User Review  - J. Ewbank - Goodreads

This play by Eugene O'Neill was a good one. Enjoyed readding it. It is a play written in the 40's so many folks today would be unfamiliar with the language and the topic, but it is well written and it ... Read full review

Review: The Emperor Jones

User Review  - Goodreads

This play by Eugene O'Neill was a good one. Enjoyed readding it. It is a play written in the 40's so many folks today would be unfamiliar with the language and the topic, but it is well written and it ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

In the place of the Emperor Jones Afternoon
5
The edge if the Great Forest Dusk
25
In the Forest Night
29
In the Forest Night
33
In the Forest Night
37
In the Forest Night
41
In the Forest Night
43
Same as Scene Twothe edge of the Great Forest Dawn
47
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Eugene O'Neill was born in New York City on October 16, 1888, the son of popular actors James O'Neill and Ellen Quinlan. As a young child, he frequently went on tour with his father and later attended a Catholic boarding school and a private preparatory school. He entered Princeton University but stayed for only a year. He took a variety of jobs, including prospecting for gold, shipping out as a merchant sailor, joining his father on the stage, and writing for newspapers. In 1912, he was hospitalized for tuberculosis and emotional exhaustion. While recovering, he read a great deal of dramatic literature and, after his release from the sanitarium, began writing plays. O'Neill got his theatrical start with a group known as the Provincetown Players, a company of actors, writers, and other theatrical newcomers, many of whom went on to achieve commercial and critical success. His first plays were one-act works for this group, works that combined realism with experimental forms. O'Neill's first commercial successes, Beyond the Horizon (1920) and Anna Christie (1921) were traditional realistic plays. Anna Christie is still frequently performed. It is the story of a young woman, Anna, whose hard life has led her to become a prostitute. Anna comes to live with her long-lost father, who is unaware of her past, and she falls in love with a sailor, who is also unaware. When Anna finds the two men fighting over her as though she were property, she is so angry and disgusted that she insists on telling them the truth. The man she loves rejects her at first, but then later returns to marry her. Soon O'Neill began to experiment more, and over the next 12 years used a wide variety of unusual techniques, settings, and dramatic devices. It is no exaggeration to say that, virtually on his own, O'Neill created a tradition of serious American theater. His influence on the playwrights who followed him has been enormous, and much of what is taken today for granted in modern American theater originated with O'Neill. A major legacy has been the nine plays he wrote between 1924 and 1931, tragedies that made heavy use of the new Freudian psychology just coming into fashion. His one comedy, Ah, Wilderness (1933), was the basis for the musical comedy, Oklahoma!, itself a groundbreaking event in American theater. O'Neill later began to write the intense, brooding, and highly autobiographical plays that are now considered to his best work. The Iceman Cometh (1946) is set in a bar in Manhattan's Bowery, or skid-row district. In the course of the play, a group of apparently happy men are forced to recognize the true emptiness of their lives. In A Long Day's Journey into Night (1956), O'Neill examines his own family and their tormented lives, a subject he continues in A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957). O'Neill's work was highly honored. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936 and Pulitzer Prizes for Anna Christie, Beyond the Horizon, Strange Interlude (1928), and A Long Day's Journey Into Night, which also received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. O'Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953, at the age of 65. He was also born in a hotel room in Times Square, NYC.

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