O'Neill's The Emperor Jones
Tragedy of the "Silver Bullet"
* N. Veena
* Ph.D. Scholar , Kakatiya University, Warangal. A.P.
Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953), recipient of Nobel Prize rors and obsessions of Brutus Jones. The expressionfor literature, is the creator of serious American drama. ists present the internal actions, dreams, visions, aspiHis tragedies strike at the very root of the sickness of rations and desires like the technique of interior monotoday. His understanding of tragedy stemmed from his logue. They give words to unseen voices to express the reading of Nietzsche. The cause of suffering of mod- secret thoughts of a man's mind. ern man is his loss of faith in God.
Jones, the protagonist, is the victim of his
In O'Neill's plays, the Greek concept of the inner sense of guilt. He knows that he is accountable fall through the pride is endorsed by the psychological for the cruelty with which he ruled the islanders. The theory of Freud and Jung. His protagonists consider revenge by the natives is therefore inevitable. This themselves the sole arbiters of their own destiny. arouses Jones' fear. The natives have already plotted
They pass through the agonizing conflict against him and Jones must now flee for life. Jones has between the conscious and the unconscious. All phi- convinced the natives by creating the silver bullet myth losophers from Socrates to modern psycho-analysts that only a silver bullet can kill him. have understood that the failure to know oneself reThe silver bullet is the symbol of his pride, sults in the tragedy of self- destruction. and it also stands for worldly wealth and greed for
O'Neill appears to touch every aspect of money. He is under the impression that the natives
American life. The life he knew best was his own. He would hardly find a silver