Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

"The Haunted": Act III

Summary "The Haunted": Act III

Lavinia, on the other hand, desperately clings to the past's repression, a repression now contingent on her raving brother's death. O'Neill makes use of another suspenseful pause between the suicide victim's epiphany and act of suicide. Clinging to Peter, Lavinia attempts to fill his terrible pause with her desperate ravings about their future happiness. With the gunshot, she defies the ancestral portraits to judge her. She has only kept their secrets. Lavinia exits the scene ever the defiant sentry, burying the past behind her crypt-like mask. Orin has left this sentry with a telling curse, calling upon the ancestors she would silence to haunt and hound her for a lifetime. This curse prefigures Lavinia's ultimate fate.