Compare the Two Act Three's in Tennessee Williams' Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.

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Amy Lewis

Compare the Two Act Three’s in Tennessee Williams’ Cat On a Hot Tin Roof

After writing the entire play of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and conferring with the famous producer, Elia Kazan, putting the show on, Tennessee Williams was asked to write a new Act Three, which he then named “The Broadway Version”, as it was to be performed on Broadway,


The three main differences we see are the presence of Big Daddy, that the impact of the previous act has an effect ob Brick’s character in Act Three and that Margaret is a more sympathetic character. Act Three (Broadway Version), begins as Big Daddy “is seen leaving at the end on Act Two” we learn from the stage directions, implying that he is onstage, unlike his position in the original Act Three.

Big Daddy “[shouts, as he goes out…]: ALL-LYIN’-DYIN’-LIARS! LIARS! LIARS!” The fact that Big Daddy is present gives us a connection between Act Two and Act Three. In the original Act Three, Big Daddy is absent and this has implications, in that, Big Daddy’s character is not developed as it is in the Broadway Version. However, it is usual of Tennessee Williams’ style to leave the endings of his plays quite undefined. This is seen in The Glass Menagerie, Laura is left unmarried and Tom leaves the family.

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Act Thee (Broadway Version) is a very classical ending, we can understand that Tennessee Williams wrote the first as a writer and the second as a potential viewer. There is great irony in the Original Act Three, Big Mamma states “Big Daddy…loves his family, he loves to have them around him.” We know that Big Daddy doesn’t like to be with any of his family, least of all Big Mamma. We see that especially in the Original Act, Tennessee Williams uses Brick as a dramatic device, by focusing on Brick whilst he is not saying much at all, yet ...

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