Miss Julie And Mourning Becomes Electra Essay

, Research Paper

In some works of literature a character who appears briefly or does not appear

at all has a significant presence. Even though a character may not be present in

a play, does not mean that they have no importance. In fact, these characters

have more of an influence over the way the other characters act and speak. Two

plays that exhibit this are Miss Julie, by August Strindberg and Mourning

Becomes Electra, by Eugene O’Neill. In Mourning Becomes Electra, Ezra Mannon has

a relatively small part; he is rarely even in the play, yet he has such an

important role. He sets the mood to the play and his actions, even though he is

not there, tell how the other characters will act. Mannon’s daughter, Lavinia is

in love with him, it is he she would do anything for. Lavinia becomes so jealous

of her mother’s relationship with her father. She loves her father so much that

she convinces her brother to kill their mother’s lover, Brant, in order to seek

revenge upon her. Due to the lack of love and affection that Ezra gives to his

wife, Christine, she takes it upon herself to seek revenge of her own. She takes

a lover, not just any lover, but an enemy of the family. She then poisons her

husband and kills him. All of these incidents are caused by Ezra, even though

some are caused by him indirectly. In Miss Julie, by August Strindberg, The

Count, even though he is not present at all throughout the entire play, has a

very strong role. His presence in the play is very intense and u can clearly see

how he influences all of the other characters in this play. You can see how all

of the other characters are willing to do anything he says. In the play Jean

tells Julie that he would agreeably kill himself if the Count had asked him to

do so. You can see from this quote how respectful Jean is towards the Count.

I?ve never met anyone I had such respect for. When I see his gloves lying on a

chair, I feel small. When I hear that bell up there ring, I jump like a skittish

horse. And when I look at his boots standing there so stiff and proud, I feel

like bowing! (Strindberg 395). This quote clearly shows how Jean is almost

afraid of the Count. At the end of this play, Julie becomes so terrified of what

her father is going to say that she plans on running away with Jean, but she

ends up killing herself instead. She talks about how her father had tried to

kill himself but was never able to do it, this may cause her to do it at the

end. When the Count returns at the end of the play, he calls Jean to clean his

boots, Jean nervously obeys him, from this you can see how much of an affect he

has on all of the characters. Therefore you can see from these examples how even

though characters may not appear in a story, or they only appear briefly, they

do have a significance.


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