Mourning Becomes Electra Topics for Further Study
by Eugene O’Neill

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Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

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

Several times during the play, music serves to underscore the themes of Mourning Becomes Electra. Discuss the role music plays in O'Neill's play. What do the songs tell us about the characters who sing them, and about the play and the character's actions in general?

Compare and contrast O'Neill's play to the original Oresteia. Other than the obvious changes in setting, what other alterations did the playwright make? How do these changes function to modernize and deepen the play? What changes would you make to set it in the 21st century?