Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Beth Osnes

Second Advisor

Bud Coleman

Third Advisor

Merrill Lessley


The two most influential forces in the life of Tennessee Williams were his writing and his sister Rose. By no accident, many of his male characters are artists, and many of his female characters, like Rose, suffer from some condition that makes them alienated from the world and emotionally ill-equipped to deal with its hardships. This investigation is an examination of the relationship between Williams' male artist and fragile female characters in each of the plays in which the two figures are found. This study reveals that through these two characters and the progress of their relationship, Williams expressed the inner emotional turmoil of his own life. By the end of his work, Tennessee created an untenable bond between his writer and fragile female, allowing them to live, flourish, and care for one another in a way that he and Rose never could.