40 pages 1 hour read

Eugene O'Neill

Beyond the Horizon

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1920

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Literary Context

The realism of the suffering depicted in Beyond the Horizon led to its recognition as the first play written by an American playwright that could “justly be called a tragedy” (Black, Stephen A. “America’s First Tragedy.” ESC: English Studies in Canada vol. 13, no. 2, 1987, p. 195). O’Neill went on to achieve commercial success with some of his best-known plays, including Anna Christie and Strange Interlude, which both won Pulitzer prizes. O’Neill’s works profoundly influenced a generation of dramatists, including his near-contemporaries Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. O’Neill remains the only American playwright to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he was awarded in 1936. O’Neill died in 1953, but he was posthumously awarded a fourth Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for Long Day’s Journey into Night, a largely autobiographical work that O’Neill never wanted produced as a play. The work was published and performed after O’Neill’s death and is widely considered his magnum opus.