Read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams Free Online
Book Title: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof|
Date of issue: October 1st 1958
ISBN 13: 9780822201892
The author of the book: Tennessee Williams
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.48 MB
Edition: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Read full description of the books Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:This year I embarked to read more plays written by the giants of American playwrights and I currently find myself reading through Tennessee Williams' trilogy of classic plays. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was first written in 1955 and revised many times both for the stage and film. Featuring well known characters, the play is known for its character studies and should be viewed live rather than read. It is in this light that I read the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and enjoyed its characters, for which I rate four bright stars.
Tennessee Williams takes us to a plantation in the south where two brothers, Gooper and Brick, are jockeying for position to get the upper hand in their father Big Daddy's will. Brick is a former football star who has become an alcoholic because he can face that he is no longer able to star on the football field. He is married to Maggie and as alcohol has pervaded their marriage the couple remains childless. Gooper is married to Mae and the couple has five children and expecting a sixth. Although eight years Brick's senior and a successful attorney, Gooper is not the light of Big Daddy's eyes. Big Daddy would like nothing more than to leave his land to Brick, if only the latter would right himself and turn his life around.
Meanwhile the wives Maggie and Mae can not stand each other and offer malicious lines to each other. Maggie's arias are memorable, as I always enjoy a strong female lead. Both women are as the title notes likes cats on a hot tin roof, dancing around each other on edge because neither will be satisfied until they have successfully one-upped the other. From my perspective, Maggie is the more likeable of the two, even though it is Mae who has given Big Daddy the grandchildren he desires.
The climax of the play is the exchange between Big Daddy and Brick in which Big Daddy urges his son to become a better person. This occurs in the second act, making the third act almost anti-climatic. Perhaps if I had viewed this play live I might have thought differently, but I enjoyed the second act more than the third, primarily for the exchange between Big Daddy and Brick.
Tennessee Williams is a master playwright of the 20th century. He touches on social issues as homosexual relationships and a woman's place in a marriage before it was socially acceptable to do so. Being ahead of his time, Williams brings these issues into light in the forms of deep characters. I enjoyed the personas of Brick, Maggie, and Big Daddy, and sneered at Mae who embodies the old south. A solid four stars in print form, I look forward to viewing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on film.
Read information about the authorThomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo (dedicated to his lover, Frank Merlo), received the Tony Award for best play.
Characters in his plays are often seen as representations of his family members. Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was understood to be modeled on Rose. Some biographers believed that the character of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire is also based on her.
Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was generally seen to represent Williams' mother, Edwina. Characters such as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Sebastian in Suddenly, Last Summer were understood to represent Williams himself. In addition, he used a lobotomy operation as a motif in Suddenly, Last Summer.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. These two plays were later filmed, with great success, by noted directors Elia Kazan (Streetcar) with whom Williams developed a very close artistic relationship, and Richard Brooks (Cat). Both plays included references to elements of Williams' life such as homosexuality, mental instability, and alcoholism. Although The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets was the preferred choice of the Pulitzer Prize jury in 1955 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was at first considered the weakest of the five shortlisted nominees, Joseph Pulitzer Jr., chairman of the Board, had seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and thought it worthy of the drama prize. The Board went along with him after considerable discussion.
Williams wrote The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer when he was 29 and worked on it sporadically throughout his life. A semi-autobiographical depiction of his 1940 romance with Kip Kiernan in Provincetown, Massachusetts, it was produced for the first time on October 1, 2006 in Provincetown by the Shakespeare on the Cape production company, as part of the First Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival.
Other works by Williams include Camino Real and Sweet Bird of Youth.
His last play went through many drafts as he was trying to reconcile what would be the end of his life. There are many versions of it, but it is referred to as In Masks Outrageous and Austere.
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