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

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview

VII. THE GLASS MENAGERIE
A Memory Play by Tennessee Williams

Introductory Note to Tennessee Williams and The Glass Menagerie

THE MODERN DRAMA of Ibsen and Shaw and O'Neill--the long period of three generations in which, as we have said, the drama flourished in Europe, in Britain, and in America successively--seemed to have closed with World War II. Life with Father, whose comedic scene is laid at the beginning of that sixty- year era, was written and produced at its end. Very different from Clarence Day's family reminiscences were those of the young poet and playwright who wrote The Glass Menagerie, ushering in the postwar drama.

Thomas Lanier ( Tennessee) Williams was born in 1914 in Columbus, Mississippi, the son of a traveling shoe salesman and an Episcopal clergyman's daughter, of an old Tennessee family. He spent his boyhood in the Mississippi rectory, frail because of diphtheria and eye cataract, with an indulgent mother, a sensitive sister, and a clerical grandfather with literary tastes. When he was thirteen, his father's promotion took the family to St. Louis, where they lived in tenement apartments. He helped his sister Rose whitepaint the walls and furniture of her dingy room and brighten it with her collection of glass animals, which were for him an enduring symbol. After high school he went to the University of Missouri at Columbia. He started well in 1931, but failed R.O.T.C. and slipped badly in his grades after being pledged ATO. It was his fraternity brothers who nicknamed him "Tennessee," which he chose to retain as his name. After two ineffective years, his father insisted that he go to work and got him a job in the shoe factory. He hated his daily work in those Depression years, and spent his nights reading and writing poetry and fiction, sleeping hardly at all. In two years he collapsed, and went to Memphis, where his grandparents now lived, to recuperate for a year. After he returned to St. Louis, his grandmother

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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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