A Streetcar Named Desire

Chekhov's Influence on the Work of Tennessee Williams

The shape of American drama has been molded throughout the years by the advances of numerous craftsmen. Many contemporary playwrights herald the work of Anton Chekhov as some of the most influential to modern drama. Tennessee Williams has often been compared to Anton Chekhov. When asked about the influences in his life and work Tennessee Williams once said, "The Strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love, Whomever I love and am with most of the time, or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that is true of everyone, don't you?" (Brainy Quote). Williams unquestionably found Chekhov's work to be memorable enough to incorporate some elements of Chekhov's style into his own plays. Through his innate sense of the human condition, Anton Chekhov served to influence the shaping of Tennessee Williams' characters in such plays as: The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.

The newness of Chekhov was his portrayal of daily life and its encompassing crisis. He illustrated how the average person suffers, their imperfections, without making excuses for the characters. Interestingly, he managed to capture the way that life is a mixture of emotions. In his plays something could be...

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