Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (1888-1953) was a Nobel prize winning American playwright. More than any other dramatist, O'Neill introduced American drama to the dramatic realism pioneered by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg, and was the first to use true American vernacular in his speeches. His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behaviour, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O'Neill wrote only one comedy Ah, Wilderness!, all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism. O'Neill's first published play, Beyond the Horizon, opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize 1922), The First Man (1922), and The Hairy Ape (1922). In 1936 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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