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Quote #10

Jamie pours his and passes the bottle to Edmund, who, in turn, pours one. Tyrone lifts his glass and his sons follow suit mechanically, but before they can drink Mary speaks and they slowly lower their drinks to the table, forgetting them. (4.1.241 SD)

This is one of the most famous moments of the play, and for good reason. As the Tyrone men go through one final, ritual gesture of drinking away their sorrows, they're all suddenly, separately caught up in their love and sadness for Mary. Mary has a power over all of them that no drug (morphine or alcohol) can possibly diminish, and the power of this particular tragedy so far outweighs the retreating power of alcohol that the Tyrones all forget about even trying to drown their sorrows for the first time in the play.

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