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Orpheus Descending Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Orpheus Descending.
This section contains 1,832 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #2

O'Sullivan writes for both film and stage. In this essay, O'Sullivan examines the use of both pagan and Christian motifs in Williams's play.

Orpheus Descending occupies a unique place in Tennessee Williams's body of work. Orpheus Descending, in fact, descends from Williams's first produced full-length play, Battle of Angels, which opened to disastrous reviews in 1940. Both Orpheus Descending and its antecedent concern the arrival of a virile stranger in the midst of a repressed Southern community. While the psychosexual dynamic that fuels most of Williams's work was present in the earlier play, a surfeit of incident coupled with an excess of religious and pagan imagery threatened to overwhelm it. This welter of sex and symbolism proved too much for early audiences and Battle of Angels was forced to close shortly after its opening. The playwright was undaunted and for the next 17 years, a period that witnessed his greatest...

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This section contains 1,832 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Orpheus Descending Study Guide
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Orpheus Descending from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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