Mourning Becomes Electra Background

Mourning Becomes Electra Background

Mourning Becomes Electra is a three-part play written by Eugene O'Neill and originally published in 1865. It was based off of the plot of Oresteia, a trilogy of Ancient Greek tragedies that were composed by Aeschylus, but set against the time period of the 1800's.

The complex story follows the Mannons, a wealthy American family living in the wake of the Civil War. Lavinia Mannon is the eldest daughter of the family, an adoring and caring young woman. She is devastated when she sees her mother kissing another man, Adam Bryant, who is actually Lavinia's secret crush as well. Lavinia confronts her mother, who confesses that she detests her husband and never loved him. This starts a complicated chain of events that ends up causing the deaths of nearly all of Lavinia's dear family, as tragedy and guilt consumes the characters.

Mourning Becomes Electra was an iconic work of its time. It has been adapted into a 1947 film of the same name, which unfortunately did not see much box office success. It was also adapted into a TV miniseries which aired in 1978 on PBS.

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