Study on the Dionysian Spirit of Yank in The Hairy Ape



The Dionysian spirit is the core of Friedrich Nietzsche’s aesthetics, the origin of western irrationalism and is regarded as the beginning of Greek tragic spirit by Nietzsche. Eugene O’Neil was one of the most intelligent modern playwright in America and had wrote many tragedies throughout his life. It could be found that many characters in his tragedies were the adapted according to the archetypes in Greek mythologies, and most of whom demonstrate obvious Dionysian spirit. Yank in The Hairy Ape is the typical example. Applying Nietzsche’s Dionysian spirit to analyze Yank’s spiritual tragic can further trace American people’s alienation in the environments, O’Neil’s creative philosophy and his tragic aesthetics.



The Hairy Ape; Eugene O’Neil; Nietzsche; Dionysian spirit

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