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The Rose Tattoo. Paperback – January 1, 1998

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822209713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822209713
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Rose Tattoo is life-loving and affirmative.” (Time)

The Rose Tattoo is a buoyantly comic celebration of life and its inexhaustible capacity for breaking free from the past…it would be a hard heart that failed to surrender to its generous adult fairy tale vision.” (The Independent [London])

The Rose Tattoo is singular in the Williams canon…as poetic and wistful a work as Williams ever composed.” (The New York Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.

John Patrick Shanley is the author of Doubt: A Parable, which won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for best play of 2005, and several screenplays, including Moonstruck, winner of the Academy Award for best original screenplay. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. His classic works include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, Orpheus Descending, and The Rose Tattoo.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aco on December 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a good, not great Williams drama, about a woman named Serafina Delle Rose, a spirited, vivacious Sicilian immigrant living somewhere along the Gulf Coast. While she is stricken by a death early on in the play, it is her heart and soul which throughout the story is subject to her own mania. She is an insensed woman, in the stereotypical Italian thrust, full of big gestures and deep longing. Also a devout Catholic, her spiritually gut wrenching journey is tied very much into the Virgin Mary.

Without dealing with what happens and why and who it happens to, this is very much a Williams play. A widowed woman, yearning for a life that is gone, sexually frustrated, emotionally wracked. There is also much symbolism, in particular Catholic symbolism, and spiritual superstition. Serafina's sexually blossoming daughter is where Serafina once was, and this provides for conflict, but the sub-plot here is not great, and the majority of the play is Serafina's wild twisting from love toward love, with the gamut in between.

"Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence." So says Tennessee in a terrific short essay called The Timeless World Of A play, which opens the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 웃 R I Z Z O 웃 VINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Rose Tattoo is a lengthy play, full of vibrant characters, adventuresome, physical action, interesting storyline and definitive settings. In addition, there are several themes, depression, withdrawal, lunacy and filled with symbols, the tattoo, the silk, the clock, bananas, etc. The play is perfect for the stage. Like any Tennessee Williams play, you need to read it again, in order to grasp the entire Williams style, to find the themes and symbols that further connect one to the story and characteristics. In 1952, the stage play earned a Tony Award.

Much has been written about Tennessee Williams' women known as the "mad heroine" with Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire Laura Wingfield, Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (Broadway Theatre Archive) etc., and clearly, Sarafina delle Rose, a voluptuous Italian widow who seeks to find comfort again.

Williams is very detail oriented in his character descriptions and stage settings.
The play takes place in the South, near New Orleans. The time is the present, (early 50s) that spans from one evening and quickly moves to 3 years later.

As the story opens, Sarafina Delle Rose is waiting for her husband, Rosario to arrive from his job. We don't get to meet him, but we learn through characterization was that he was handsome, thick black hair, and made plenty of money driving a banana truck, hauling "something" underneath the bananas. But Rosario was murdered, burned in the truck. Sarafina is in denial about her beloved Rosario, she speaks well of him.
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Format: Paperback
Opening on Broadway in 1951, THE ROSE TATTOO was a major success for playwright Tennessee Williams, winning Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Scenic Design; it was subsequently filmed in 1955 and again proved a major success, receiving Academy Awards for Best Actress, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography--as well as five other nominations, including Best Picture. Even so, TATTOO is no longer considered among William's "essential" works, and although it has been revived now and then over the years the large cast and complex set makes stage productions few and far between.

The story is set in an unspecified town along the Mississippi gulf coast (the characters reference Pass Christian and Biloxi as nearby), the play centers on Serafina Delle Rose, a passionate Sicilian woman, who lives with her husband in an Italian enclave; while her husband drives a truck, she works as a seamstress, and the two have a beautiful daughter named Rosa. But within a few minutes of the play's beginning, Serafina's husband is dead and she, pregnant, miscarries. She begins a downward spiral into a mixture of depression, religious hysteria, and superstition that threatens Rosa's happiness--and ultimately demands that Rosa live her own life in the same despair and isolation.

Rosa rebells, but more significantly, Serafina makes the discovery that her late husband was unfaithful to her. She also meets Alvaro Mangiacavallo, who has an unexpected series of similarities to her late husband: he drives a truck, he is of the same body type, and he is of the same passionate nature. These events have the effect of exploding Sarafina out of her depression and back into the mainstream of life.
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By Charles Stransky on September 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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