Mourning Becomes Electra Criticism

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In adapting Oresteia, Eugene O'Neill set himself a challenging task. He explains he that hoped to create a "modern psychological approximation of [the] Greek sense of fate" and sets the play in New England because it evokes the "Puritan conviction of man born to sin and punishment." Critics continue to debate to what extent O'Neill succeeded in his project.

In its early reviews, Brooks Atkinson praised the play as "Mr. O'Neill's masterpiece," and John Mason Brown characterized it as "an achievement which restores the theatre to its high estate."

However, Eugene Burr derided the play as a "marathon by an author who takes himself too seriously... who wastes his own and his audiences' time by delving into morbid psychology that is just as unreal, just as fundamentally unimportant and certainly as unentertaining as the sentimentality which is verboten [forbidden] by his devotees."

According to George H. Jensen, O'Neill...

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This section contains 941 words
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Buy the Mourning Becomes Electra Study Guide
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