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The Iceman Cometh

The Iceman Cometh

by Eugene O’Neill

Betrayal Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

ROCKY: Remember how he works that gag about his wife, when he’s cockeyed, cryin’ over her picture and den springin’ it on yuh all of a sudden dat he left her in de hay wid de iceman? (1)

From Rocky’s story, it’s clear that Hickey has turned the idea of betrayal into a running joke. Later in the play, this idea will reappear when we discover that Hickey betrayed his wife to the tune of full-on murder. He’s always talked about betrayal as a joke, but it proves to be much more serious.

Quote #2

HICKEY: You’ll have to excuse me, boys and girls, but I’m off the stuff. For keeps. (1)

This is Hickey’s first act of betrayal against the group, and they no longer see him as one of them. This seemingly simple act sets the play in motion in a lot of ways. People realize that the guy they’ve been eagerly awaiting isn’t who they thought he was and this throws everyone’s world into disarray.

Quote #3

PARRITT: But she wasn’t faithful to you, even at that, was she? (2)

Parritt uses the betrayal in Larry’s past—acted out by Parritt’s mother—to try to connect with him. This is a great example of how a character that is not even in a play can still play a major role in the action. Parritt’s mother isn’t physically present, but she hangs over her son and Larry.

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