Top 50+Tennessee Williams Quotes


Who is Tennessee Williams

Thomas Lanier Williams III, known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was an American playwright. Along with contemporaries Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller, he is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama.

Tennessee Williams Quotes

1. If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.

2. I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?

3. Time is the longest distance between two places.

4. What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.

5. There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.

6. Time doesn’t take away from friendship, nor does separation.

7. Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts.

8. I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that’s sinful, then let me be damned for it!

9. A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.

10. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

11. Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour – but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands – and who knows what to do with it?

12. How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.

13. There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.

14. Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

15. When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.

16. I suppose I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.

17. All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.

18. In memory, everything seems to happen to music

19. We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.

20. Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else

21. Some things are not forgiveable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgiveable. It is the most unforgiveable thing in my opinion, and the one thing in which I have never, ever been guilty.

22. Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion

23. The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks

24. I think that hate is a feeling that can only exist where there is no understanding

25. You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it.

26. You said, ‘They’re harmless dreamers and they’re loved by the people.’ ‘What,’ I asked you, ‘is harmless about a dreamer, and what,’ I asked you, ‘is harmless about the love of the people? Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams.

27. Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable

28. Physical beauty is passing – a transitory possession – but beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart – I have all these things – aren’t taken away but grow! Increase with the years!

29. I don’t want realism. I want magic!

30. We’re all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.

31. The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.

32. Oh, you can’t describe someone you’re in love with!

33. America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
Everywhere else is Cleveland.

34. Every time you come in yelling that God damn “Rise and Shine!” “Rise and Shine!” I say to myself, “How lucky dead people are!

35. What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew… Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.

36. I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places

37. Show me a person who hasn´t known any sorrow and I´ll show you a superficial.

38. In all these years, you never believed I loved you. And I did. I did so much. I did love you. I even loved your hate and your hardness.

39. Friends are God’s way of apologizing to us for our families

40. Everybody is nothing until you love them.

41. You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don’t plan for it.

42. What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?

43. All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.

44. Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.

45. The rest of my days I’m going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I’m going to die on the sea. You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape. One day out on the ocean I will die–with my hand in the hand of some nice looking ship’s doctor, a very young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver watch. “Poor lady,” they’ll say, “The quinine did her no good. That unwashed grape has transported her soul to heaven.

46. Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else. I am disappointed but I am not discouraged.

47. Why is it so damn hard for people to talk?

48. Go, then! Go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!

49. Success and failure are equally disastrous.

50. Anything might have been anything else and had as much meaning to it.

51. Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.

52. People go to the movies instead of moving.

53. Mendacity is a system that we live in,” declares Brick. “Liquor is one way out an’death’s the other.

54. I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage. (Maggie)

55. Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?

56. For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura — and so goodbye.

57. He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery – love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding on something that had always been half in shadow, that’s how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.

58. People are not so dreadful when you know them. That’s what you have to remember! And everybody has problems, not just you, but practically everybody has got some problems. You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.

59. And funerals are pretty compared to deaths.

60. The world is violent and mercurial–it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love–love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.


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