The Iceman Cometh

The Iceman Cometh

Eugene O'Neill

Language: English

Pages: 215

ISBN: 0300117434

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Spellbinding--soaring theater--. For reasons that remain mysterious, it seems especially moving today."--The New York Times

Eugene O'Neill mined the tragedies of his own life for this depiction of a seedy, skid row saloon in 1912, peopled by society's failures: worn-out anarchists, failed con artists, drifters, whores, pimps, and informers. The pipe-dreaming drunks of Harry Hope's bar numb themselves with rotgut gin and make grandiose plans, while waiting for the annual appearance of the big-spending, fast-talking salesman, Hickey. But this year's visit fails to bring the expected good times, as a changed Hickey tries to rouse the barflies from their soothing stupor with a proselytizing message of salvation through self-knowledge.
Considered by many to be the Nobel Prize-winning playwright's finest work, The Iceman Cometh exposes the human need for illusion as an antidote to despair. The recent gripping, critically acclaimed Broadway production, starring Kevin Spacey, has highlighted anew the subversive genius of O'Neill's play.

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as big as two freight trains, and he pounds his fist like a ham on de desk, and he shouts, "You black son of a bitch, Harry says you're white and you better be white or dere's a little iron room up de river waitin' for you!" Den he sits down and says quiet again, "All right. You can open. Git de hell outa here!" So I opens, and he finds out I'se white, sure 'nuff, 'cause I run wide open for years and pays my sugar on de dot, and de cops and I is friends. (He chuckles with pride.) Dem old

ten spot. Bess usually had better sense, but she was in a hurry to go to church. I didn't really mean to do it, but you know how habit gets you. Besides, I still worked then, and the circus season was going to begin soon, and I needed a little practice to keep my hand in. Or, you never can tell, the first rube that came to my wagon for a ticket might have left with the right change and I'd be disgraced. (He chuckles.) I said, "I'm sorry, Bess, but I had to take it all in dimes. Here, hold

got a hell of a grouch on! Bejees, you know you're all as welcome here as the flowers in May! (They look at him with eager forgiveness. Rocky is the first one who can voice it.) ROCKY--Aw, sure, Boss, you're always aces wid us, see? HICKEY--(rises to his feet again. He addresses them now with the simple, convincing sincerity of one making a confession of which he is genuinely ashamed.) Listen, everybody! I know you are sick of my gabbing, but I think this is the spot where I owe it to

viciousness) Aw, put a bag over it! To hell wid Evelyn! What if she was cheatin'? And who cares what yuh did to her? Dat's your funeral. We don't give a damn, see? (There is a dull, resentful chorus of assent, "We don't give a damn." Chuck adds dully) All we want outa you is keep de hell away from us and give us a rest. (a muttered chorus of assent) HICKEY--(as if he hadn't heard this--an obsessed look on his face) The one possible way to make up to her for all I'd made her go through,

sometimes I couldn't forgive her for forgiving me. I even caught myself hating her for making me hate myself so much. There's a limit to the guilt you can feel and the forgiveness and the pity you can take! You have to begin blaming someone else, too. I got so sometimes when she'd kiss me it was like she did it on purpose to humiliate me, as if she'd spit in my face! But all the time I saw how crazy and rotten of me that was, and it made me hate myself all the more. You'd never believe I

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