Beyond the Horizon (1918), Eugene O’Neill’s first successful long play, does not hold a very prominent place in the O’Neill canon. It deserves better. Although an obviously early work, it is the first play by an American that can justly be called a tragedy. O’Neill would not consistently reach tragic levels so high until the late 1930s. I will try to defend this large claim by drawing analogies between the meanings of the play and the tragic vision I construe in O’Neill’s ancient companions Sophocles and Euripides....
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