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A three part reworking of themes from Greek tragedy the plays are set in New England in 1865 just after the Civil War A returning victor General Ezra Mannon Agamemnon is poisoned by his unfaithful wife Christine Clytemnestra and then avenged by his son Orin Orestes and daughter Lavinia With Orin's subseuent suicide Lavinia the Electra of the title becomes a fatalistic recluse in the Mannon mansion


10 thoughts on “Mourning Becomes Electra

  1. says:

    This was my first O'Neill experience Crazy This cycle of plays reminds me of how interconnected in sometimes freaky ways are the ideas of life death love hate societal standards and taboos All of these concepts play a sort of round robin tournament as life combines with death love hate standards and morals everything connects with everything else It's certainly not always a pleasant combination but one worth contemplating I would love to see this staged especially to see the art direction's creation of a family whose faces are all life like masks Well you probably just use masks But still


  2. says:

    This play is the definition of a dysfunctional family dramaMy Godhow frusturated I have become near the end of itWhy is everyone jealous of someone else?? Sharing is caringI swear I was expecting a filial makeout sessionbut the worst happenedan incestuous marriage proposal took place I really felt uncomfortable reading some passages because the vibes of incest were pounding my brains outO'Neill sure went there in depicting the ugly dynamics of a dysfunctional family


  3. says:

    WowThe Oresteian Trilogy The House of the Seven Gables Washington Suare Mourning Becomes ElectraWhile not necessary to read any of these pieces of literature that contribute to the understanding of the play any of these pieces will deepen the understanding of this trilogyAccording to at least one other reviewer an understanding of Freudian personality theory contributes to the understanding of the Mourning trilogy Without a doubt I was grasping to label typesAccording to Illiterate another reviewer on Goodreads the understanding of this trilogy can be understood as another three componentsSome of us can reference other works and ideas but cannot well discuss it Here are some labels that come to mindPowerfulHorrificAmericanThat many Americans talk about their dysfunctional families horrifies me just now


  4. says:

    like 35 starsThis play according to Google search results was first produced in the early 1930’s around this time Freud was making an impression on many writers and artists I don’t know if Eugene O’Neill was an admirer but what he’s done with this retelling of a Greek Myth where he broadly uses the plot of Aeschylus’s Oresteia is to give us a family drama with Freudian laden relationshipsThe action is set around the Mannon family this is an old family going back generations with an unhappy episode that haunts them When Christine Mannon the mother finds the love she has always wanted everything changes For years the family dynamics have been fragile; the disharmony between the parents have created an unhealthy alliance between father and daughter and son and mother The children Lavinia and Orin now grown up are fiercely loyal to a parent where jealousies are easily triggered This leads to a seuence of tragic events as nature and nurture seem to battle it out The ending suggests a kind of bleak hope as Lavinia wants to put things right knowing she can never changeThe backdrop of the American Civil War adds to the Claustrophobic mood of the play; here its Orin haunted by death and killings during this war To me the sets and dialogue have a kind of a Southern feel; I imagined American Colonial architecture in an expansive landscape It was a GR friend in a buddy read who pointed out that it was set in New England Its dialogue to a degree felt dated and very much of its time However to see how a retelling is handled and how the themes are conveyed through its story structure made this interesting for me I also liked it on a cerebral level there’s a lot going on where the tension stays taut and the action sometimes speaks as loudly as the words like Lavinia transforming into her mother Occasionally a classic read is interpreted with current sensibilities instead of the ones written in their own time With recent events of Historical Cases I did wonder if this may become one of them; where Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic critiue of the subconscious will be eclipsed by its Freudian elements


  5. says:

    To find Karen suggest I look for the filmDescription A three part reworking of themes from Greek tragedy the plays are set in New England in 1865 just after the Civil War A returning victor General Ezra Mannon Agamemnon is poisoned by his unfaithful wife Christine Clytemnestra and then avenged by his son Orin Orestes and daughter Lavinia With Orin's subseuent suicide Lavinia the Electra of the title becomes a fatalistic recluse in the Mannon mansion The author was four times a Pulitzer Prize winner and was the first American dramatist to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936The theme song OH SHENANDOAH Across the Wide Missouri A Cappella Version BBC R3 has been giving us the The Oresteian Trilogy on Sunday evenings and it has been fantastic listening Of course this is how I ended up with this O'Neill playVery clever however I do so prefer Aeschilus


  6. says:

    I read this one mostly out of historical interest I'm reasonably fond of theatre and must admit to being puzzled by this play's reputation To me it was extremely ham handed Anything that wasn't taken from the Oresteia was taken straight from Freud I know Freudian theories of personality were accepted when the play was written but to me the relationships of the Mannon family were laughably two dimensional


  7. says:

    I did enjoy this Beatrix Lehmann played the role of Lavinia in the 1938 London production and it was considered one of her best roles I really love Greek drama and this was a retelling which actually worked uite well The setting just after the American civil was seemed to mirror that of the Greek uite well The rich eccentric family and their odd ways could easily fit in I'm not sure all the incest really worked as well in the 19th century setting though Still despite that it was a very interesting trilogy I know that it is was staged in London as all three plays with a running time of four and a half hours For me I enjoyed the first play the best it focused on the unhealthy relationship of the mother and daughter I think O'Neill may have made the mother just a little too unsympathetic It was easy to see why her daughter was so upset with her or perhaps as I was imagining Beatrix in the role I was just unduly sympathetic to Lavinia I thought the brother Ores was very weak but his speeches about the horror of war and the way it had effected them very powerful In fact in many ways the play was at it's strongest when it diverged from the source of the myths I'd love to see this on stage one day


  8. says:

    This is one of the classic plays that you hear about but I hadn't read We selected plays for our latest Reading Around the Library and I decided to read this one This is a three part drama essentially three plays that make up one larger work My undergraduate class in Greek drama provided a good base for much of the meaning of the drama One word kept popping into my head whenever I finished reading a section fraught It was rife with tension madness incestuous leanings adultery death destructive relationships revenge hate chafing at social s skeletons in closets and general family dysfunction Love and hate tug the family members to several breaking points which tended to end scenes The background is the close of the Civil War and the set surrounds the family mansion in a New England town The stage directions provide interesting info and continuous themes such as the mask like facial features of the members of the family and the slightly camouflaged ugly facade of their home Overall an interesting though hardly light hearted read


  9. says:

    I gave this hauntingly morbid story five stars not because it has a good plotline and characters; but because how much it had an effect on me So dark so incestuous so creepy so gross; a complete packageExactly how I like my storiesToxic family checkTwisted unlikable characters checkPowerful dialogues checkSuicides checkMurders checkGuilty conscience checkStrange symbolic mansions checkA mountain of bizarre CHECKSinister love interests check check check hint A WHOLE LOT OF INCESTHere I go this is what I want and this is exactly what this play providedI didn't feel sorry for anyone Every single one of them was either a stupid fool or a complete asshole So glad this diabolic play is part of my semester course and I got to read it


  10. says:

    According to the college professor who assigned this when translated into Norwegian the title became Getting Electricity in the Morning