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Orpheus Descending Summary
Tennessee Williams

Everything you need to understand or teach Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams.

  • Orpheus Descending Summary & Study Guide
  • 30 Orpheus Descending Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

Orpheus Descending Summary


Orpheus Descending, a play by Tennessee Williams (New York, 1958, currently in print, published by Dramatist's Play Service), opened in 1957 in New York City. Although Williams was at the time an established playwright, having had huge success with The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), and other plays, Orpheus Descending was harshly criticized and widely considered a failure. It was a play that Williams had labored over for more than seventeen years. The earliest version was called Battle of Angels, and was first produced in 1940. After Battle of Angels was almost universally condemned by critics, Williams rewrote it five times, reshaping it as a modern version of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

In Orpheus Descending, a young charismatic musician descends on a small, repressive southern town. He forms a relationship with a passionate woman who is trapped in a bad marriage and who has a tragic past. The play...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Orpheus Descending Study Pack contains about 81 pages of study material in 5 products, including:

Orpheus Descending Study Guide

Lesson Plan

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Orpheus Descending Lesson Plans contain 139 pages of teaching material, including:

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