Orpheus Descending Discussion Questions

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Obtain a copy of the movie The Fugitive Kind, which is the film version of Orpheus Descending. Write an essay asserting whether or not you believe it effectively captures the spirit of the play. Does Marlon Brando make a convincing Val? Are the changes made in the ending justified and do they improve on the original or spoil it?

Orpheus Descending is in part about the place of the artist in society. What role should the artist play? Is the artist always likely to be marginalized, like Val, or misunderstood, like Vee, in a conventional, materialistic society? For what should the artist stand, if anything? What values do you believe should motivate him or her?

Williams wrote in his introduction to the play (in Tennessee Williams: Eight Plays) that Orpheus Descending is about "unanswered questions that haunt the hearts of people." Some of the characters simply...

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This section contains 270 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Orpheus Descending Study Guide
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Orpheus Descending from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.