Eugene O'Neill: Hughie

(1681 words)
  • Annalisa Brugnoli (Università Ca' Foscari, Venice)

Hughie is Eugene O’Neill’s last one-act and penultimate completed play. Conceived at the end of 1940 and concluded in 1942, it was envisioned as the fourth in a cycle of one-act plays entitled “By Way of Obit.” Plagued by physical and psychological ailments and by tremors that increasingly hindered his writing, O’Neill never finished the series, whose envisioned structure had to develop around a recurring pattern:

In each [play] the main character talks about a person who has died to a person who does little but listen. Via this monologue you get a complete picture of the person who has died – his or her whole life story – but just as complete a picture of the life and character of the narrator. A…

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Brugnoli, Annalisa. "Hughie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 March 2012
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]