Tennessee Williams' play "Orpheus descending" - an ..
tennessee williams play orpheus descending an ..
This much, then, I place on record, and am aware that some things have perhaps escaped me, but other things have not. And in that, after expending much thought and pains so that the result might be a continuous and definite account of the lives of the most celebrated philosophers and rhetoricians, I fell short of my ambition, I have had the same experience as those who are madly and feverishly in love. For they, when they behold the beloved and the adored beauty of her visible countenance, bow their heads, too weak to fix their gaze on that which they desire, and dazzled by its rays. But if they see her sandal or chain or ear-ring, they take heart from these and pour their souls into the sight and melt at the vision, since they can endure to see and love the symbols of beauty more easily than the beauty itself; thus too I have set out to write this narrative in such a way as not to omit in silence and through envy anything that I learned by hearsay, or by reading, or by inquiry from men of my own time, but, as far as in me lay, I reverenced the entrance and gates of truth and have handed it down to future generations who may either wish to hear thereof or have power to follow with a view to the fairest achievement. Now the period I describe is somewhat interrupted and broken up by reason of the calamities of the State. Still a third crop of men began with the days of Claudius and Nero (for the second which came next after Plato has been commemorated and made clear to all). As for those unlucky Emperors who lasted for a year only, they are not worthy of record; I mean, for example, Galba, Vitellius, Otho, and, following them, Vespasian, Titus and those who ruled after these men; and no one must suppose that I pay serious attention to them. Anyhow, to speak cursorily and in brief, the tribe of the best philosophers lasted on even into the reign of Severus. And surely this is part of the felicity that belongs to emperors, that in history the date which marks the superlative virtue of a philosopher is that which dates the superlative luck of an emperor. Therefore let no one take it amiss if I, recording as I do the period for which it was possible for me to obtain evidence, or with which I could make an appropriate beginning, embark on my narrative at this point.
Orpheus Descending is a play by Tennessee Williams
Hisstory begins in the Poet's Cafe in Paris, where a famous middle-aged poet namedOrpheus () is scorned by younger poets who want to displace him. Abrawl breaks out, and a young rival named Cegeste (Edouard Dermit) is struckdown. A Rolls-Royce materializes, and its owner, a striking princess (MariaCasares), orders her chauffeur to put the young man in the back seat. Then sheorders Orpheus to come along "as a witness," although their routetakes them not to the hospital but into a cloudy shadowland that eventuallybecomes the underworld.