This was my second reading assignment for my Modern American Drama course, and also my second foray into O’Neill’s works. The Emperor Jones is a very quick read, but one that certainly packs a punch, and I can imagine a good staging of this play could be quite haunting. The plot centers on a man who’s made himself emperor of a tribal culture in the West Indies, but upon hearing that his empire plans to revolt, he runs away.
It’s almost a one man show, and for that reason, I would be very interested to see how this plays on stage rather than just in my imagination, which certainly can’t do this work dramatic justice. I think I enjoyed my reading experience with this a bit more than I enjoyed Anna Christie, and I’m very interested to see how I feel about the other three O’Neill works I’ll be reading in the coming days.