Tennessee Williams

(1911-1983 / United States)

Tennessee Williams
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Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three foremost playwrights in 20th-century American drama.

After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with The Glass Menagerie (1944), closely reflecting his own unhappy family background. This heralded a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). His later work attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences, and alcohol and drug dependence further inhibited his ... more »

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  • ''I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, sc. 11 (1947). Blanche's final words in the play.
  • ''I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, sc. 3 (1947).
  • ''Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an' death's the other.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Brick, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 2.
  • It is almost as if you were frantically constructing another world while the world that you live in dissolves beneath your feet, and that your survival depends on completing this construction at least...
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Camino Real, author's foreword, published in New York Times (March 15, 1953). Written prior to the...
  • ''We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Chris, in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, sc. 6 (1963).
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Best Poem of Tennessee Williams

The Wine-Drinkers

The wine-drinkers sit on the porte cochère in the sun.
Their lack of success in love has made them torpid.
They move their fans with a motion that stirs no feather,
the glare of the sun has darkened their complexions.

Let us commend them on their conversations.
One says "oh" and the other says "indeed."

The afternoon must be prolonged forever, because the night
will be impossible for them.
They know that the bright and very delicate needles
inserted beneath the surfaces of their skins
will work after dark--at present are ...

Read the full of The Wine-Drinkers

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