Tennessee Williams

Thomas Peter Adler (Purdue University)
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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 strange, the queer,” misfits either because of sexual,…

3026 words

Citation: Adler, Thomas Peter. "Tennessee Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4738, accessed 23 February 2024.]

4738 Tennessee Williams 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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