Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Eugene O’Neill's The Emperor Jones. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Emperor Jones: Introduction
The Emperor Jones: Plot Summary
The Emperor Jones: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Emperor Jones: Themes
The Emperor Jones: Quotes
The Emperor Jones: Characters
The Emperor Jones: Symbols
The Emperor Jones: Literary Devices
The Emperor Jones: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Eugene O’Neill
Historical Context of The Emperor Jones
Other Books Related to The Emperor Jones
- Full Title: The Emperor Jones
- When Written: Around 1920
- Where Written: New York City
- When Published: The play was first performed in 1920
- Literary Period: Expressionism, Realism
- Genre: Dramatic stage play
- Setting: An unnamed island in the West Indies
- Climax: Jones uses his silver bullet to kill the crocodile god
- Antagonist: Brutus Jones is arguably his own worst enemy, although he also fights racism and other forms of systemic oppression.
Extra Credit for The Emperor Jones
Lead vs. Silver. In folklore, silver bullets are often the only things capable of killing monsters. However, in 2007, the television show "Myth Busters" tested to see if silver bullets were actually any better than conventional lead bullets. They found that despite the myths, silver bullets are slower and less accurate than their lead counterparts.
Family Drama. Eugene O'Neill disowned his daughter, Oona, after she married Charlie Chaplin in 1943: she was 18, and Chaplin was 54. Despite this, Oona still inherited the family estate in Bermuda, as both her brothers committed suicide.