Tennessee Williams

(3026 words)
  • Thomas Peter Adler (Purdue University)

Although critics might disagree about the precise ranking of Tennessee Williams among the pantheon of major American dramatists of the twentieth century—along with Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Edward Albee—his position as the most important playwright ever to emerge from the South had never been disputed. Thus, one of the hallmarks of his plays is the conflict between nostalgia for a genteel, mythically—conceived agrarian South and a critique of a pragmatic, industrialized North. Even more indelible is a kinship—born of Williams's need to keep under wraps his own homosexuality in the theatre of his time—for all who are somehow different; he never winced from staging those he called in an early poem “the crazed, the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Adler, Thomas Peter. "Tennessee Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4738, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Articles on Williams' works

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. Camino Real
  3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  4. Not About Nightingales
  5. Orpheus Descending
  6. Something Cloudy, Something Clear
  7. The Glass Menagerie
  8. The Night of the Iguana

Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature
  2. Literature of the American South