Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams

By Tennessee Williams

The definitive textual content of this American classic—reissued with an advent by means of Edward Albee (Who's fearful of Virginia Woolf? and a fragile stability) and Williams' essay "Person-to-Person."

Cat on a scorching Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American tale of brothers vying for his or her demise father's inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered within the individual of Maggie the Cat. The play additionally daringly showcased the weight of sexuality repressed within the anguish of her husband, Brick Pollitt. inspite of the general public controversy Cat stirred up, it was once provided the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that yr. Williams, as he so frequently did along with his performs, rewrote Cat on a scorching Tin Roof for plenty of years—the current model was once initially produced on the American Shakespeare pageant in 1974 with all of the adjustments that made Williams ultimately claim the textual content to be definitive, and was once such a lot lately produced on Broadway within the 2003-04 season. This definitive version additionally contains Williams' essay "Person-to-Person," Williams' notes at the numerous endings, and a quick chronology of the author's existence. one in every of America's maximum dwelling playwrights, in addition to a chum and colleague of Williams, Edward Albee has written a concise creation to the play from a playwright's standpoint, studying the candor, sensuality, energy, and effect of Cat on a sizzling Tin Roof then and now.

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Extra resources for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Sample text

Earlier in the same scene the drama projects a sphere of unreality — again through sound but in terms of the Stranger's or the Lady's subjective perceptions. The Stranger believes he can hear higher powers meeting to discuss his fate: 'Did you know that just now I heard the gavel fall, the chairs being pushed back from the table and the servants dismissed' (37, cf. 64). 1 However, the Stranger develops a line of reasoning which indicates that he also counts on an abstract reality which does not appear any less 'real' to him, but which is for him a new kind of experience: 'Yes, for some time now I've been noticing everything, but not as before when I only saw things and events, forms and colours; now I see thoughts and meanings' (18).

It starts out much like the first time, in that he does not feel as if he is getting any nearer to the pavilion. But this time he takes a more 24 Strindberg and the Five Senses rational approach; he not only takes along a watch but also a map, and calculates that after walking for ten minutes he should have only five hundred metres left to the pavilion. He concludes that he day before he had evidently been the victim of an optical illusion: the perspective changes as I stride along; at the same time, my angle of vision increases, and this infernal play of invisible lines confuses my mind, where the irradiating rays of the enchanted palace imprint themselves.

A thrush that no longer sings but utters sneering laughs adds an auditory dimension. The air of the cemetery is said to be unhealthy because of unwholesome vapours and Strindberg gets a taste of verdigris on his tongue, which he concludes is caused by the souls of dematerialized bodies floating in the air. As if this were not enough, the author collects a sample of this air in a bottle and takes it back with him to his hotel room where he pours a drop of acid on it: 'It swells up, this dead matter, it quivers, begins to come alive, exudes a rotten smell, grows still once more, and dies' (662).

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