Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



The purpose of the present investigation is to make a critical study of Eugene O'Neill's career as a dramatist and to arrive at some estimate of the value of his contributions to the dramatic literature of today. In order to achieve this purpose, three things were attempted. The first task undertaken was an endeavor to study his career as a stage dramatist. The second was to give a brief analysis of his style and the dramatic situations involved, and the third was to make an individual analysis of the dramatic technique of one of his outstanding plays.

In the first task, an attempt is made to trace Eugene O'Neill's association with the stage from his earliest attraction to it until the present. An effort was also made in this particular division of the study to give a somewhat detailed account of the history of the production of each of his outstanding plays and to relate the success which these plays had when they were produced on the stage.

The third problem of the investigation, which represents an effort to examine the dramatic technique of each of his plays is, for several reasons, the most difficult of all. First, it is difficult to find a satisfying standard by which to measure any drama, for the types of drama are almost as varied as the individual dramatists themselves and the themes of dramatic technique almost as varied as the critics who attempt to expound the principles of these techniques. The effort is made, however, to use the principles of plot structure and dramatic technique which seem to be most common to the critics of drama. In approaching this problem an effort was made: (1) to present a detailed analysis of the plot structure of these plays, (2) to study the sections of each play to determine the motivation of the action, (3) to examine his method of portraying character and (4) to show his interest in the minority groups, especially the Negro, (5) to study the dramatic situations involved in some of his outstanding plays.

Committee Chair/Advisor

Malcolm Davis


Prairie View A&M College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.