The Glass Menagerie is one of the classic pieces of performing art to have been made in the twentieth century. First published by Tennessee Williams in 1944, it is a memory play with four main characters – Amanda Wingfield, Tom Wingfield, Laura Wingfield and Mr. Wingfield…
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The Wingfield family is torn apart due to the failings of its breadwinner – Mr. Wingfield. The play has garnered critical acclaim both as a work of written word as well as an enacted play. The further adaptation of this play into a movie is a testament to its enduring essence.
But many critics believe that the play is best experienced through theatre performances. Consequently, many production houses have performed it time and over during the last seventy odd years. The intricate design of the plot and superlative performances from star casts of previous productions is now part of legend. Laurette Taylor’s performance as Amanda Wingfield is now acknowledged by many veterans as the best of the century. Just as the powerful script and excellent acting contributes to the success of the play, so does the direction, visualization, music, sound effects and other technical features. The rest of this essay will present the ideal approach to each of these facets to the play, so that the end product would capture all the definitive qualities behind the play’s resounding success.
There are a few things to remember while choosing the cast for the play. The character of Amanda is central to the play and it should be assigned to someone who can portray the rugged southern belle image. She should be a strident and bold personality to fit with the description of someone who drove her husband away. The accent too should be spot on to reflect the southern mindset and sensibility. The actor playing Tom Wingfield should reflect the dreamy nature of his character, because he has to deliver the dialogues and monologues equally efficiently. The final speech by Tom in the final act of the play is especially crucial to the overall effectiveness of the play, for this passage is one of the most poetic, intensive and poignant in the entire play. The virginal daughter Laura Wingfield is someone whose dreams are as fragile as the animals in her precious glass collection. The actor for this role should thus play with sensitivity and a restrained sense of quiet tragedy. The challenge in shaping the character of Tom is to bring to life the idea that the viewer is watching Tom turn his memories, his pain and guilt, into a work of art. To this extent it could be said that author Tennessee Williams was attempting to create a non-realistic theatre, using the literary devices and technical production tools available to him in the 1940s. Hence, modern productions of the play can incorporate some changes, without actually losing the essence of the narrative. For example, rather than a typewriter, Tom's means of turning the stuff of his life into art can be through a video camera. It can always be with him, even when he's disengaged from the action or sets the camera down momentarily. The other characters are seen from Tom's viewpoint, and the projections of what he sees come to represent the layers of his memory. By removing the burden of realism, one is able to hear the play anew. Coming to the scenic design, the director should ask ‘To what degree do we want to follow Williams's copious stage directions about lights, clothes, projections and so on?’ The fact that walls and furniture don't seem to be that useful for actors, makes the director look for less literal ways of solving the world of the play – in other words, capturing its essence without total adherence to author’s original and preferred mise-en-scenes. Lighting design for the play can also be challenging at times. For
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The three main characters, Tom, Amanda (his mother) and Laura (his sister) are trapped in a world in which they imagine a future that is not manifesting for them. Although the play takes place in a memory, the perceived remembrance of Tom, the escapism that all three characters use in order to navigate their life during the time of his memories provide a type of context for ways in which to identify how Tom saw his mother and sister, and perhaps how they realistically existed.
Tom is shown as an individual who aspired to become a poet, but who instead has to work in a warehouse in order to support his family consisting of his mother, Laura Wingfield, and his sister, Laura. The play also involved the character of Tom’s father, Mr.
The main characters, Laura Wingfield, a crippled young girl, her mother Amanda Wingfield, a woman reminiscing about her glittering youth and still living in the memories, and Tom Wing field who imagines himself to be a hero, now a poet in a warehouse. Laura Wingfield who can be said as the heroine of this novel and the entire play is centering on her, is always living with her collection of Glass Toys which she considers them as saving her from boredom and loneliness.
Originally planned as a film script’ the Gentle man Caller ‘, this play becomes a hit in Chicago. It is autobiographical and presentational. . The author thinly disguised as a narrator Tom, dramatizes the loneliness and failures of the William’s lives in the 1930’s.
Tom also took on the responsibilities of tending to the well-being of his ill and painfully shy younger sister. However, Tom’s ignorance and selfishness gets the better of him, a behavior that had been building up until it reached a boiling point at the end of the play, resulting in Laura’s emotional distress.
As a play, The Glass Menagerie is graced by three main characters, Amanda Wingfield, Tom and Laura Wingfield. However, there are two other characters, Jim O'Connor and Mr. Wingfield who feature peripherally in the play. Although the main characters of the play are Amanda Wingfield, Tom and Laura Wingfield, the chief character is Tom Wingfield.
Summary of the Play: Set in St. Louis in the mid-1930s, 'Glass Menagerie' is described as a 'memory' play, that is, the writer has created the work from memories of his life; it truly replicates Williams' own experiences. There is no doubt as to its autobiographical nature, as the three main characters, Tom, Amanda and Laura Wingfield represent himself, his mother Edwina, and his sister Rose, and some of the events in their lives, using Tom Wingfield as narrator.
Tom gives reference to his mother Amanda and crippled sister Laura in a setting and events suggesting personal metaphors. The audience is drawn to understand that the symbolic approach of the play under Toms perspective signifies how each
This statement refers to a major theme of the play, namely all the characters stuck up in the memories of the past. Thus the writer himself confesses that the play is a string of memories of his own youth. The peculiarity of 19th
Symbolism helps create a desirable mood and emotion in the plot thereby conveying a particular message effectively. The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams is an ideal play in which the author use a number of literary elements and techniques to convey his message and to
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