Dramatic Techniques in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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Dramatic Techniques in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Dramatic Techniques used in Tennessee William’s’ Play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

What dramatic techniques does Tennessee Williams use to convey ideas and/or beliefs and how effective have they been.

Tennessee Williams uses a number of dramatic techniques in his play to convey his ideas/and beliefs. The play is about the convention in society, which constantly tries to control people’s lives. Tennessee introduces the audience to the subject of deceit and virulence. The 1955 play, is a unique modern or post-modern drama set in the plantation home of Big Daddy, a capitalist with strong Southern values. The dramatic techniques he uses in his play look into how Big Daddy’s family members relate to each other, especially his son Brick and his spouse Maggie, the “cat”. Some techniques featured are surrealistic imagery and symbolism, extensive use of mythical allusions and author’s unconventional commentary as well as dialogue.

William has a striking gift of narration. The events of the play are narrated gradually, step by step in an ascension of meaningfulness. He dives straight into the story on the verge of the climax then slowly takes us back to past events. The history is not completed until the end of the second set. It is at this point that a major revelation is made for both the audience and the characters. The rest of the play is an adamant working out of the consequences. Other than the inclusion of a narration element, the author also uses the dramatic device of developing the characters and their relationships. The play’s rhythm is not only created by external events but also by the developing connection between the family members as well as an increasing self-awareness of individual characters. Williams’ gift of narration charges the circumstances of the play to reveal many truths such as the desperate fear of death, materialism, isolation and hidden guilt.

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