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The Iceman Cometh

The Iceman Cometh


by Eugene O’Neill

Theodore Hickman (Hickey) Timeline and Summary

  • Hickey arrives. This is a big deal, because it doesn’t happen until late in Act I. In fact, the play often goes on for about an hour before Hickey makes his first entrance. 
  • He starts trying to convince people to act on the pipe dreams they’re always talking about.
  • When Hickey organizes and runs Harry’s birthday party, it leads to aggravation in the group. 
  • Hickey convinces (some would say manipulates) Jimmy Tomorrow and Harry Hope to leave the bar and do what they’ve always said they were going to do.
  • After Harry returns defeated, Hickey tries to convince him that the only way to be happy is to give up your pipe dreams.
  • Then, he drops a confessional bomb: he killed his wife.
  • But he can't just leave it at that. Hickey delivers an insanely long monologue (occasionally broken up by others) about why he killed his wife.
  • In the end, Hickey gets carted off to jail.