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How do you respond to the view that Williams uses both, music and stage directions,

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How do you respond to the view that Williams uses both, music and stage directions, to create an appropriate atmosphere and reinforce his major themes in the play? In the play Williams explores major themes, such as fear of death, desire, loneliness and madness. He uses various techniques to convey his ideas and demonstrate them through the behaviour of the protagonists. The stage directions and music are not only used to emphasise those themes, but also provide the audience with additional insight of the characters and offer new levels of interpretation and understanding of the plot. By applying music and stage directions throughout the play, Williams also helps the audience to understand the social context at the time. In Scenes one and three it is the most evident. One of the main musical accompaniments in the play used by Williams is the "blue piano". It is used in various occasions to emphasise the feeling of loneliness and anxiety as well as helping the audience to understand better the background of New Orleans. In the introductory stage directions Williams describes it as "being played with the infatuated fluency of brown fingers and "express[ing] the spirit of the life which goes on here", suggesting that New Orleans is a lively area with various cultures living there. ...read more.


Williams used that piece to highlight Blanche's strong connection with the past and emphasise her distress. The "music of polka rises up" for the first time in scene one when Stanley mentions Blanche's social status. The polka in this case reflects Blanche's apprehension about the past and her lost husband, introducing the theme of death. To Blanche, the polka means immanent disaster and is heard throughout the play when Blanche is feeling powerless and frightened. This is evident when Mitch confronts her about her past or when Stanley gives her a ticket to return home, both times it is accompanied by the polka. The music helps the audience to understand why the main protagonist is feeling so powerless and vulnerable, as it reflects Blanche's memories. In these scenes the polka reinforces Williams' theme of madness as well as loneliness. The blue piano and the Varsouviana polka are not the only significant musical compositions in the play. Williams included others in order to emphasise the themes and provide further insight to the protagonists. In scene three, when Blanche first meets Mitch "Rhumba music comes over the radio". In this case it creates a cheerful and lively, making the audience feel hopeful towards the relationship between Mitch and Blanche. ...read more.


This description contained within stage directions at the beginning of the play presents Blanche as a vulnerable and delicate, however in further scenes her character is revealed as more complex and unpredictable. Her look changes and corresponds with her deteriorating mental condition. We also gather more information about her from comments from other characters. A character whose motivation is mainly introduced through the use of stage directions is Stanley. His "animal joy" and "love of good drink and food and games" are notified throughout the play. Williams' description of the two central characters in stage directions is vital for the understanding of the reasons for Blanche's and Stanley's conflicts. Throughout the play Williams uses a combination of music and stage directions to reinforce his themes as well as provide further insight to the characters. The stage directions develop the characters and help them to be understood by the audience. In order to create an appropriate atmosphere in his play, Williams had to use a variety of methods, like introducing the sound of the gunshot, to create an atmosphere that would reflect the feelings of the characters. Overall, Williams used additional techniques like language and costume to create a full meaning of his play, music and stage directions being the essential elements. ?? ?? ?? ?? Suzy Rabikowska ...read more.

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