Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms has proven itself a play worthy of praise. This thesis traces the specific elements which illustrate that this theatrical work, having gone beyond the audience for which it was written in 1924, continues to be rightfully considered a success seventy-five years after its creation. Unlike Robert Brustein in Theatre of Revolt and Eric Bentley in Thinking About The Playwright, who classify and compare all of O'Neill's work in their role as professional critics, this thesis examines and reflects on this one work as an individual entity unto itself; This analysis surveys the prevailing literary, social and moral environment which contributed to Desire Under the Elm's birthing and nurturing to maturity as an American classic. Included is an evaluation of the play in terms of its "superstructure," structural characteristics, as a dramatic work and with an eye to the author's success in approaching this creation via Aristotle's definition of a tragedy (Ball viii). It concludes with an examination of Desire's place in contemporary theater as the final element defining its success.
Analysis; Desire; Elms; Eugene; Everything; Neill; Success; Terms; Timing
Theater; American literature
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Alicesun, Janet Catherine, "Timing is everything almost: An analysis of Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms" in terms of its success" (1999). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1020.
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