Discuss characterization in the play. How does O'Neill create distinct characters and define them based on particular flaws?
What are the major conflicts in the play? How, if at all, are they resolved?
How does O'Neill make use of stage directions in the play? How do they enlighten our reading of the play?
How do drugs and alcohol function within the play? Discuss the role they have in the lives of the Tyrones and the role they have from a literary standpoint.
How does O'Neill balance Edmund's intellectualism with Tyrone's abhorrence of most intellectuals? How does this conflict play out? Be sure to note Tyrone's own intellectual ambitions related to Shakespeare and acting.
Discuss the role of lying in the play. Who lies to whom, when do they lie and why? How are lies treated by O'Neill, and what part do they have in the play?
Discuss O'Neill's use of broken dreams in the play. What do they mean to the characters, and what do they symbolize? How are the dynamics between characters affected by broken dreams?