This paper will explore Classical, Biblical, and Shakespearean intertextuality in Desire under the Elms (1924), a tragedy by the American playwright Eugene O'Neill. The play is adapted from Classical plays or Greek mythology with reference to Oedipus, Phaedra, Medea, etc. It also alludes to the Bible through the names of its major characters and their speeches. Regarding the Shakespearean sources, several characters in Desire under the Elms resemble those in Shakespeare's plays, such as Hamlet and Macbeth. As such, the play develops tragic styles through intertextual connections with sources or analogues found in writings of these three literary traditions. By drawing on the theories proposed by Julia Kristeva, Linda Hutcheon, and other critics concerning intertextuality, adaptation, parody, and theatrical illusion, this paper will examine how dramatic tension is increased in Desire under the Elms by focusing on the investigations of the intertextual parallels that may result in new or hybrid signification.
Hsin-Yun Ou, National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Stream: Humanities - Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window
Comments & FeedbackPlace a comment using your LinkedIn profile
Share this Research