The Emperor Jones

by

Eugene O’Neill

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Emperor Jones can help.
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Emperor Jones published in 2011.
Need another quote?
Need analysis on another quote?
Need analysis for a quote we don't cover?
Need analysis for a quote we don't cover?
Need analysis for a quote we don't cover?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Request it
Request it
Request analysis
Request analysis
Request analysis
Scene 1 Quotes

And I'm bloody glad of it, for one! Serve 'im right! Puttin' on airs, the stinkin' nigger! 'Is Majesty! Gawd blimey! I only 'opes I'm there when they takes 'im out to shoot 'im.

Related Characters: Smithers (speaker), Brutus Jones, The Old Woman
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Talk polite, white man! Talk polite, you heah me! I'm boss heah now, is you fergettin'?

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Related Symbols: The Color White, Jones's Uniform
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

No use'n you rakin' up ole times. What I was den is one thing. What I is now 's another.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Related Symbols: The Color White, Jones's Uniform
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

You didn't s'pose I was holdin' down dis Emperor job for de glory in it, did you? Sho'! De fuss and glory part of it, dat's only to turn de heads o' de low-flung, bush niggers dat's here. Dey wants de big circus show for deir money. I gives it to 'em an' I gits de money.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

Smithers: Look at the taxes you've put on 'em! Blimey! You've squeezed 'em dry!

Jones: No, dey ain't all dry yet. I'se still heah, ain't I?

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers (speaker)
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

For de little stealin' dey gits you in jail soon or late. For de big stealin' dey makes you Emperor and puts in de Hall o' Fame when you croaks. If dey's one thing I learns in ten years on de Pullman ca's listenin' to de white quality talk, it's dat same fact. And when I gits a chance to use it I winds up Emperor in two years.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Related Symbols: The Color White
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

You'd 'ave been in jail if you 'ad, wouldn't yer then? And from what I've 'eard, it ain't 'ealthy for a black to kill a white man in the States. They burns 'em in oil, don't they?

Related Characters: Smithers (speaker), Brutus Jones
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

Think dese ign'rent bush niggers dat ain't got brains enuff to know deir own names even can catch Brutus Jones? Huh, I s'pects not! Not on yo' life! Why, man, de white men went after me wid bloodhounds where I come from an' I jes' laughs at 'em. It's a shame to fool dese black trash around heah, dey're so easy.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Related Symbols: The Color White
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

Doesn't you know dey's got to do so wid a man was member in good standin' o' de Baptist Church? Sho' I was dat when I was porter on de Pullmans, befo' I gits into my little trouble. Let dem try deir heathen tricks. De Baptist Church done pertect me and land dem all in hell.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

Does you think I'd slink out de back door like a common nigger? I'se Emperor yit, ain't I? And de Emperor Jones leaves de way he comes, and dat black trash don't dare stop him—not yit, leastways.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Smithers
Related Symbols: The Color White, Jones's Uniform
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 2 Quotes

How come all dese white stones come heah when I only remembers one? Nigger, is you crazy mad? Is you lightin' matches to show dem whar you is? Fo' Lawd's sake, use yo' haid.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Color White
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 3 Quotes

Dis am a long night fo' yo', yo' Majesty! Majesty! Der ain't much majesty 'bout dis baby now. Never min'. It's all part o' de game. Dis night come to an end like everything else.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker)
Related Symbols: Jones's Uniform
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 4 Quotes

Damn dis heah coat! Like a straight-jacket!...And to hell wid dese high-fangled spurs. Dey're what's been a-trippin' me up an' breakin' my neck. Dere! I gits rid o' dem frippety Emperor trappin's an' I travels lighter.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker)
Related Symbols: Jones's Uniform
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Oh, I'se sorry I evah went in for dis. Dat Emperor job is sho' hard to shake.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker)
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Yes, suh! Yes, suh! I'se comin'.

God damn yo' soul, I gits even wid you yit, sometime.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), The Prison Guard
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

I kills you, you white debil, if it's de last thing I evah does! Ghost or debil, I kill you again!

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), The Prison Guard
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 5 Quotes

Lawd, I done wrong! And down heah war dese fool bush niggers raises me up to the seat o' de mighty, I steals all I could grab. Lawd, I done wrong! I knows it! I'se sorry! Forgive me, Lawd! Forgive dis po' sinner!

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), Lem, Jeff, The Prison Guard
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 6 Quotes

Oh, Lawd, what I gwine do now? Ain't got no bullet left on'y de silver one. If mo' o' dem ha'nts come after me, how I gwine skeer dem away? Oh, Lawd, on'y de silver one left—an' I gotta save dat fo' luck. If I shoots dat one I'm a goner sho'!

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker)
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 7 Quotes

What—what is I doin'? What is—dis place? Seems like—seems like I know dat tree—an' dem stones—an' de river. I remember—seems like I been heah befo'.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), The Witch Doctor
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 8 Quotes

Well, they did for yer right enough, Jonsey, me lad! Dead as a 'erring! Where's yer 'igh an' mighty airs now, yer bloomin' Majesty? Silver bullets! Gawd blimey, but yer died in the 'eighth o' style, any'ow!

Related Characters: Smithers (speaker), Brutus Jones, Lem
Related Symbols: The Silver Bullet
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.