The Iceman Cometh
Study Questions and Essay Topics
What is the significance of the celebration in the play?
Early in the play Larry quotes from Heine's poem "Death and his Brother Sleep ('Morphine')." How might one begin to read this poem against the play?
Suggested Essay Topics
Discuss O'Neill use of dialect. Draw on two characters for comparison.
What is the significance of the policemen who appear in the final scene? Consider their effect of Hickey, Hope, and the residents of the saloon.
Discuss O'Neill's use of the anecdote. What role does the random, everyday story play in the bar?
Discuss O'Neill use of character placement. Compare the stage notes of two scenes in your answer.
Close read O'Neill's stage notes on setting at the very beginning of the play. How does it go about establishing the context of the action?
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