Tennessee Williams Essay Research Paper Everything in — страница 3

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technique of presenting his plays. Williams best plays are notable for their use of impressionistic sound and lighting effects. The earlier playwright who was the principal influence on Williams is Anton Chekhov, who is also noted for his impressionism. Tennessee claims the work that had the most influence on him was that by Fredrico Garcia Lorca, Arthur Rimbaud, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hart Crane, and D.H. Lawrence. Williams is also noted for his extreme use of violence and he is often compared to William Faulkner. Williams plays frequently center on three character types: the gentleman caller, usually a young man, whether gentleman or not, who calls upon a young woman; an innocent and vulnerable young woman; and a usually tougher and more experienced older woman. This pattern is

obvious in both The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire (Kunitz 2165). Tennessee Williams claimed that all of his major plays fit into the memory play format he described in his production notes for The Glass Menagerie. The memory play has a three part structure: (1) a character experiences something profound; (2) that experience causes what Williams terms an “arrest of time,” a situation in which time literally loops upon itself; and (3) the character must re-live that profound experience (while caught in the arrest of time) until she or he makes sense of it. The main theme for his plays, he claimed, is the negative impact that conventional society has upon the “sensitive nonconformist individual” (Classic Notes 1). Playwright, poet, and fiction writer,

Tennessee Williams left a powerful mark on American Theatre. Not only did he receive multiple awards and impressive reviews, Williams kept the attention of audiences in American and abroad for many years after his death. On the day of his death, the New York evening papers issued an impressive list of famous actors who have performed in his plays; these include Jessica Tandy, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hephurn, Morlon Brando, and Bette Davis (2). Whether one argues that these actors were made famous by Williams work, or that the quality of his work attracted the most popular film and stage performers, the connection between Williams and these stage legends established Williams as one of the most important playwrights in twentieth-century drama. The majority of his

success is due to the fact that he gave audiences a slice of his own life and a piece of Southern Culture. Williams stated, Every artist has a basic premise pervading his whole life, and that premise can provide the impulse in everything he creates. For me the dominating premise has been the need for understanding, tenderness, and fortitude among individuals trapped by circumstance (Magill 1089). Works Cited Clarksdale, Edward. Tennessee Williams. [http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ms-writers/dir/williams_tennessee]. February 1, 2001. Kunitz. Tennessee Williams. Twentieth Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary. 1955. Magill, Frank. Tennessee Williams. Encyclopedia of World Authors. 1997. Nelson, Benjamin. Tennessee Williams: The Man and His Work. New York: Obolensky, 1961.

Spoto, Donald. The Kindness Of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. New York: Ballantine Books, 1985. Tennessee Williams. [http:// www. classicnotes/tenn_will/bio]. February 15, 2001.