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The Essence in Long Day's Journey into Night: The Director's Notes.

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The Essence in Long Day's Journey into Night: The Director's Notes ENG-4U1 By John Jung Teacher: Mr. Murray Date: Nov.17/03 Topic #1: Examine the director's notes of the play closely. What purpose do they serve within the play? How do they augment meaning and form? What function do they fulfill beyond simple stage direction? The director's notes in Long Day's Journey into Night bring a strong bond of understanding between the reader and the play. Eugene O' Neil created the book with such elaboration that no misinterpretations were to occur. The book is based on a dark family that has a bitter love relationship. The director's notes help the reader to perceive that the relationship is filled with no ordinary love, but bitter love. The purpose of the note is to make the reader part of the play, to make sure that the authors thoughts are keenly delivered with no misinterpretation. Although Shakespeare's Othello is considered as one of the best plays in the world, the play Long Day's Journey into Night is known for its better quality of content. The notes are the essence of the play because they provide a clear view of the setting and theme, summarizes the characters physical and psychological description with perfection, and provide the reader a clear picture of the character's actions, feelings and mood. ...read more.


The hardwood floor is nearly covered by a rug...Around the table..." (O'Neil, pg. 11) Act Four also clearly shows the fog becoming denser. Mary is in a fog due to her drug usage. The description shows the reader Mary's state of mind; "Outside the windows the wall of fog appears denser than ever. As the curtain rises, the foghorn is heard, followed by the ships' bells from the harbor." (O'Neil, pg.14) In Othello, there are no detailed sets provided, and the director's notes are very short. The director must re-invent Shakespeare's set, whereas O'Neil tells the director everything. Shakespeare merely states "A Street in Venice Night." (Shakespeare, Act I, scene i) The action and the dialogue must build the setting. The director's notes provide the reader a clear image of the character's actions, feelings and mood to augment meaning and form. O'Neil carefully describes characters to assist the director in casting the actors. Shakespeare's Othello has the statement; "Enter Roderigo and Iago" (Shakespeare, Act I, scene i). The viewer or reader must learn about these characters from the dialogue; However, Mary, in Long Day's Journey into Night, is however carefully described by O'Neil; "Mary is fifty-four, about medium height. ...read more.


The play finishes with Mary explaining the circumstances which led to her marrying James Tyrone. She had wanted to become a nun, but was told to see it she was meant to be a nun by; "...going home after I graduated, and living as other girls lived, going out to parties and dances and enjoying myself; and then..." (O'Neil, pg.175) She met Tyrone that year. The final stage directions clearly show the effect it (the marriage) had on her life; "She stares before her in a sad dream. Tyrone stirs in his chair. Edmund and Jamie remain motionless." (O'Neil, pg.179) In conclusion, O'Neil's director's notes demonstrated the tragic marriage and its effects on all four of the characters with elaboration. The notes helped the readers understand the play much more efficiently: summarizing the physical and psychological description of the characters, providing a clear view of the setting and theme, and providing the reader a clear picture of the character's actions, feelings and mood to augment meaning and form. The author used detailed stage directions, also called as director's notes, to ensure that the viewers and readers all experienced the same setting and themes, and that characters revealed their true natures. ...read more.

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