40 pages 1 hour read

Eugene O'Neill

Beyond the Horizon

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1920

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Essay Topics


The depiction of Rob’s illness is largely based on O’Neill’s own experience with tuberculosis, for which he was admitted to a sanatorium for five months. It was during this time that he sought comfort in writing and felt called to it as a vocation. Similarly, after his daughter Mary dies, Rob “stayed indoors and took to reading books” (184). Do poetry, literature and writing have a positive or negative influence in Beyond the Horizon? Explain.


Encyclopedia.com defines a tragedy as “a form of drama in which a noble hero (the protagonist) meets a fate inherent in the drama’s action.” To what extent are the tragic events of the play inevitable or a result of the central characters’ own free choices? Support your response with evidence from the play.


The horizon is a central recurring motif throughout the play. Trace the appearance of the horizon throughout the play and consider how O’Neill’s use of the image changes as the plot progresses.