Long Day 's Journey Into Night Essay

1726 Words Mar 15th, 2016 null Page
Long Day’s Journey into Night is a semi-autobiographical play by Eugene O’Neill, centered around a family dealing with addiction and their own downfalls. Many critics have argued whether Long Day’s Journey into Night is a tragedy or not. While it has arguments for both, it would have to be considered a tragedy because of the characters and the ending. Those two aspects of the play make it a tragedy. However, it cannot be considered a tragedy in the classic sense of the word. Long Day’s Journey into Night is a modern tragedy because it has four tragic characters struggling with their fatal flaw, which will ultimately be their downfall, and the ending does not give a hint as to what the resolution for the characters might be. Instead of focusing on a set definition of “tragedy,” looking at the typical elements that are present in tragic plays or the actions in the play is easier when deciding what is or is not a tragedy. Those who study Shakespeare ascribe the definition of tragedy to a play in which a character dies. That would be the easiest factor in deciding which play is a tragedy and which one is not. Unfortunately, a death does not necessarily make a play a tragedy and the lack of death does not exclude a play from being tragic. The basic definition of tragedy varies from author to author. Standard characteristics of tragic plays include; characters from influential background with a lot to lose, a tragic flaw, emotional moment of realization, unity of time, place,…

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