Tennessee Williams: Orpheus Descending

(3299 words)
  • Nicholas Moschovakis (Independent Scholar - North America)

Orpheus Descending and its author

Orpheus Descending is Williams's revised version of his first professionally produced play, Battle of Angels. Battle had opened at the end of 1940 in Boston – and had failed miserably there, closing at the end of its run. Williams, then still under thirty years old and virtually unknown, had created outrage with Battle's sexual themes and its mix of Christian iconography with erotic imagery. But his disappointment was brief. Within a few years, in 1944-45, he had gained success with The Glass Menagerie. Yet the tragic subject of Battle still haunted him. Finally, in the 1950s – after he had won worldwide fame with such plays as <…

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Moschovakis, Nicholas. "Orpheus Descending". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21682, accessed 26 November 2015.]