The Iceman Cometh

by: Eugene O'Neill

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

I'd get blind to world now if it was the Iceman of Death himself treating! (He stops, startedly, a superstitious awe coming into his face) What made me say that, I wonder. (With a sardonic laugh) Well, be God, it fits, for Death was the Iceman Hickey called to his home!

Larry conjures the specter of the Iceman in Act III. Hickey has spread his gospel throughout the saloon; its residents have been harassed into the murder of their pipe dreams. The phrase, "The Iceman Cometh," recalls the story of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:6 and its description of the coming of the Savior: "But at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh." The messianic figure of the play is certainly Hickey. As we will see in the subsequent act, this messiah does not bring salvation, but ruin. The demystification of these dreams will bring the saloon's residents to a sort of living death, reducing them to waxen automata. Moreover, this messiah's gospel emerges from the murder of his wife. Thus Larry notes: "Death was the Iceman Hickey called to his home!"