Mourning Becomes Electra Analysis

Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Mannon mansion

Mannon mansion. Home of the Mannon family, on the outskirts of a small, unnamed New England village near the sea, that is the setting for twelve of the thirteen acts of the trilogy. As each of the three plays progresses from act to act, the settings move from the mansion’s exterior to its interior. Gradually, the house’s study, Ezra’s bedroom, and the sitting room are revealed. O’Neill’s description of the surrounding area, with its woods, orchard, garden, lawn, and greenhouse, are carefully detailed. The position of the mansion on a hill above the town suggests the assumed power and assumed superiority of the Mannon family. O’Neill describes the house in such detail that it is clear he considers it integral to the action of his plot.

Clipper ship

Clipper ship. The only setting other than the exterior and interior of the Mannon mansion is the stern of a ship and the wharf to which it is moored. This is used only in the fourth act of The Hunter, the second play in O’Neill’s trilogy, when General Mannon’s son, Orin, kills the ship’s captain.

Mourning Becomes Electra Historical Context

Born in 1888, Eugene O'Neill's life spanned some of the most important events of contemporary history. While he played no actual role in the...

(The entire section is 592 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Literary Style

Chorus
Traditionally in Greek tragedies, the chorus consists of masked actors who dance and chant. Generally, they do...

(The entire section is 351 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Compare and Contrast

1931: America is in the midst of a severe economic depression, known as the Great Depression. Led by President Franklin...

(The entire section is 222 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Topics for Further Study

Consider how setting the play after the Civil War and in New England impacts the play's themes and meaning.

Several times during...

(The entire section is 110 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Media Adaptations

In 1947, RKO Pictures released an adaptation of the play, which starred Raymond Massey, Rosalind Russell, and Michael Redgrave. The film...

(The entire section is 29 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra What Do I Read Next?

Aristophanes' Lysistrata (411 BC) is a comic—and perhaps the first—anti-war play.

Stephen...

(The entire section is 89 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Bibliography and Further Reading

Sources
Brustein, Robert. "Eugene O'Neill," in The Theatre of Revolt: An Approach to the Modern Drama,...

(The entire section is 156 words.)

Mourning Becomes Electra Bibliography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Berlin, Normand, ed. Eugene O’Neill, Three Plays: “Mourning Becomes Electra,” “The Iceman Cometh,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night”: A Casebook. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan, 1989. A good introduction. Includes excerpts from O’Neill’s working diary, tracing the play’s development from inception to second galleys. Contains four reviews of the original production, and seven critical studies dealing with character, theme, and style.

Bogard, Travis. Contour in Time. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Provides detailed comparison between Mourning Becomes Electra and Euripides and Aeschylus, noting...

(The entire section is 263 words.)