Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview

THE GLASS MENAGERIE*
A Memory Play in Seven Scenes by Tennessee Williams

THE CHARACTERS

AMANDA WINGFIELD--the mother

A little woman of great but confused vitality clinging frantically to another time and place. Her characterization must be carefully created, not copied from type. She is not paranoiac, but her life is paranoia. There is much to admire in Amanda, and as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. Certainly she has endurance and a kind of heroism, and though her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel at times, there is tenderness in her slight person.

LAURA WINGFIELD--her daughter

Amanda, having failed to establish contact with reality, continues to live vitally in her illusions, but Laura's situation is even graver. A childhood illness has left her crippled, one leg slightly shorter than the other, and held in a brace. This defect need not be more than suggested on the stage. Stemming from this, Laura's separation increases till she is like a piece of her own glass collection, too exquisitely fragile to move from the shelf.

TOM WINGFIELD--her son

And the narrator of the play. A poet with a job in a warehouse. His nature is not remorseless, but to escape from a trap he has to act without pity.

JIM O'CONNOR--the gentleman caller

A nice, ordinary, young man.

Scene: An Alley in St. Louis

Time: Now and the Past

PART I. Preparation for a Gentleman Caller

PART II. The Gentleman calls


SCENE 1

THE WINGFIELD APARTMENT is in the rear of the building, one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population and are symptomatic of the impulse of this largest and fundamentally enslaved section of American society to avoid fluidity and differentiation and to exist and function as one interfused mass of automatism.

The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire-escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these huge

____________________
*

Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. Copyright 1945 by Tennessee Williams and Edwina D. Williams.

-572-

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PrÆCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CÉLimÈne, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CÉLimÈne, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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