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Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

Ezra Mannon

As his homophonic name suggests, he is Agamemnon's counterpart, the great general returned from war to be murdered by his wife and her lover. We first encounter Ezra prior to his homecoming in the former of the ominous portrait hanging in his study. Here, as throughout the trilogy, Ezra is dressed in his judge's robes and appears as a symbol of the law.

Ezra's authority rests primarily in his symbolic form. Indeed, he is far more the figure for the law in this form than as a broken, bitter, ruined husband. Both before and after his death, Ezra will continuously appear in his symbolic capacities. His mannerisms, for example, suggest the unyielding statue-like poses of military heroes; to Christine, he imagines himself as a statue of a great man standing in a square. After his death, Lavinia will constantly invoke his name and voice. Christine will hear herself condemned by his corpse. Ezra's various images will call his family to judgment from beyond the grave.