Author(s): Eugene O'Neill
"The Iceman Cometh" is a play written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1939. "The Iceman Cometh" is set in Harry Hope's decidedly downmarket Greenwich Village saloon and rooming house, in 1912. The patrons, who are all men except for three women who are prostitutes, are all dead-end alcoholics who spend every possible moment seeking oblivion in each others' company and trying to con or wheedle free drinks from Harry and the bartenders.The play is one of O'Neill's most ambitious works, and bears the impression of having been written from a perspective of profound despair. It expresses the playwright's disillusionment with the American ideals of success and aspiration, and suggests that much of human behavior is driven by bitterness, envy and revenge. Despite the emotional difficulty of this play which may have decreased its popularity, fans of the play believe that all the characters are so well explored, with measured doses of wry humor, that the best productions are compelling. The suspense of discovering the true meaning and intentions of Hickey's character usually maintains the audience's interest."The Iceman Cometh" is often compared to Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths", by which it has been suggested to have been inspired.Fuji Books' edition of "The Iceman Cometh" contains supplementary texts:* "Tomorrow", a short story by Eugene O'Neill, which features one of the characters in "The Iceman Cometh".* "Anna Christie", O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a former prostitute who falls in love, but runs into difficulty in turning her life around.* A few selected quotes of Eugene O'Neill.