Tennessee Williams acclaimed as the “poetic interpreter of sharply realistic actions and characters” is “more poetic, more lyrical, and probably more symbolical than Arthur Miller” (Stephen S. Stanton). His language is the most beautiful feature of his plays. It turns the plays into musical melodies. It is not only soothing to the ears but also creates colourful images on our mind’s eye. He is a poet and brings a poetic attitude and approach in his works of theatre. Williams’ plastic theatre is a major breakthrough in the field of theatre art. The use of stage techniques, symbolic props, light and sound display and costume all add to his plastic language in a plastic theatre.
Lyricism is the beautiful expression of personal thoughts and feelings in writing or music. Oxford Dictionary defines ‘lyricism’ as an artist's expression of emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way. A playwright uses words, music and other stage techniques to convey lyrical qualities to the play.
More than one critic has pointed out that Tennessee Williams writes with his eyes and his ears while other playwrights are often content to write out of memory or to pick their brains for dramatic content. Brooks Atkinson says it this way:
“Behind the fury and uproar of the characters are the eyes, ears and the mind of a lyric dramatist who has brought into the theatre a new freedom of style… he can make (language)express shades of feeling outside the range of most writers – coldness and longing , silence, desolation, dissolution. Between society and the individual there is a void that Mr. Williams can cross with words that are plain in themselves but radiant in meaning. “
Williams’ verbal excesses occur most obviously in The Glass Menagerie (1945), A Street Car named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959) and Night of the Iguana (1961).
In his dialogue Williams achieves a colloquial pungency which is realistic...