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A Student Handbook to the Plays of Tennessee Williams provides the essential guide to Williams' most studied and revived dramas. Authored by a team of leading scholars, it offers students a clear analysis and detailed commentary on four of Williams' plays: The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth. A consistent framework of analysis ensures that whether readers are wanting a summary of the play, a commentary on the themes or characters, or a discussion of the work in performance, they can readily find what they need to develop their understanding and aid their appreciation of Williams' artistry. A chronology of the writer's life and work helps to situate all his works in context and the introduction reinforces this by providing a clear overview of Williams' writing, its recurrent themes and concerns and how these are intertwined with his life and times. For each play the author provides a summary of the plot, followed by commentary on: * The context * Themes * Characters * Structure and language * The play in production (both on stage and screen adaptations) Questions for study, and notes on words and phrases in the text are also supplied to aid the reader. The wealth of authoritative and clear commentary on each play, together with further questions that encourage comparison across Williams' work and related plays by other leading writers, ensures that this is the clearest and fullest guide to Williams' greatest plays.