The Rose Tattoo Essay

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In the following essay, Kolin explores Williams' turn to comedy and his other motivations in The Rose Tattoo.

When The Rose Tatto made its Broadway appearance on 3 February 1951, Tennessee Williams did not have a reputation as a comic writer. Quite to the contrary, his two hits, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, had, according to Life, established him as a dramatist who "could write only about doom-ridden damsels." For his comic efforts in The Rose Tattoo, Williams was promptly whipped. As the reviewer in Newsweek put it, "there is an uneasy feeling that his new play is sometimes funny without quite intending to be." Williams' humor was labeled in the basest terms. The more serious events in act one "descend into cheap farce which must be seen to be believed," wrote Margaret Marshall in The Nation. The reviewer for Time, contemptuous of the rapid changes of...

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This section contains 7,105 words
(approx. 18 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rose Tattoo Study Guide
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The Rose Tattoo from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.