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100 Inspiring Quotes By Tennessee Williams That Will Fill Your Life With New Gusto

Famous As: One of the Finest American Playwrights of the 20th-Century Best Known for His Work ‘The Glass Menagerie’
Born On: March 26, 1911
Died On: February 25, 1983
Born In: Columbus, Mississippi, United States
Died At Age: 71
Tennessee Williams was an acclaimed American playwright known as the best playwrights of the 20th century. His childhood was very disturbed as a result of his dysfunctional family and this is where writing came to his rescue. These experiences were a great influence for majority of his works. He joined the University of Missouri to study journalism but was compelled by his father to become a sales clerk against his will. All this caused a nervous breakdown. After recovering, he completed his studies and moved to New Orleans to start a new life away from his family. During the initial years, he traveled to various places doing petty jobs to survive. He debuted on theater with his play titled ‘The Glass Menagerie’ which brought him instant fame as it was honored with ‘New York Critics Circle Awards’. His next play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ further upped his success barometer. It was honored with various awards including the most renowned ‘Pulitzer Prize’. The next two decades marked the most successful time of his career as he gave consecutive hits. His promising career, unfortunately, came on a downfall as he got into alcohol and drugs. Here is a compilation of quotes and thoughts by the legendary playwright which have been extracted from his writings, plays, books, work and life. Go through these quotes sayings by Tennessee Williams which tends to have a lesson of life hidden behind them.
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If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.

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

Tennessee Williams
Time is the longest distance between two places.

Time is the longest distance between two places.

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

Tennessee Williams
Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.

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

Tennessee Williams
A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.

A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.

Tennessee Williams
How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.

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

Tennessee Williams
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?

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?

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

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

Tennessee Williams
Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

Tennessee Williams
There's a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go.

There's a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go.

Tennessee Williams
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

Tennessee Williams
All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.

All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.

Tennessee Williams
In memory, everything seems to happen to music.

In memory, everything seems to happen to music.

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

Tennessee Williams
Make voyages. Attempt them. There's nothing else.

Make voyages. Attempt them. There's nothing else.

Tennessee Williams
You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it.

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

Tennessee Williams
Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable.

--Blanche Dubois

Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable. --Blanche Dubois

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

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

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

Tennessee Williams
The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

Tennessee Williams
We're all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.

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

Tennessee Williams
I don't want realism. I want magic!

I don't want realism. I want magic!

Tennessee Williams
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!

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!

Tennessee Williams
I didn't go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places

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

Tennessee Williams
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...

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...

Tennessee Williams
Every time you come in yelling that God damn

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

Tennessee Williams
Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with!

Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with!

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

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

Tennessee Williams
Show me a person who hasnt known any sorrow and Ill show you a superficial.

Show me a person who hasnt known any sorrow and Ill show you a superficial.

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

Tennessee Williams
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.

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.

Tennessee Williams
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?

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?

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

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

Tennessee Williams
Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families

Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families

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

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

Tennessee Williams
Everybody is nothing until you love them.

Everybody is nothing until you love them.

Tennessee Williams
Success and failure are equally disastrous.

Success and failure are equally disastrous.

Tennessee Williams
Why is it so damn hard for people to talk?

Why is it so damn hard for people to talk?

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

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

Tennessee Williams
For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura -- and so goodbye. . . .

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

Tennessee Williams
Life is an unanswered question, but let's still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.

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

Tennessee Williams
I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage. (Maggie)

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

Tennessee Williams
Mendacity is a system that we live in,

Mendacity is a system that we live in," declares Brick. "Liquor is one way out an'death's the other.

Tennessee Williams
Go, then! Go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!

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

Tennessee Williams
Well, honey, a shot never does a coke any harm!

Well, honey, a shot never does a coke any harm!

Tennessee Williams
But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark -- that sort of make everything else seem -- unimportant.

But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark -- that sort of make everything else seem -- unimportant.

Tennessee Williams
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?

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?

Tennessee Williams
I cannot write any sort of story unless there is at least one character in it for whom I have physical desire.

I cannot write any sort of story unless there is at least one character in it for whom I have physical desire.

Tennessee Williams
People go to the movies instead of moving.

People go to the movies instead of moving.

Tennessee Williams
Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.

Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.

Tennessee Williams
We are all civilized people, wich means that we are all savages at heart but observing a few amenities of civilized behaviour.

We are all civilized people, wich means that we are all savages at heart but observing a few amenities of civilized behaviour.

Tennessee Williams
I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.

I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.

Tennessee Williams
Time goes by so fast. Nothin' can outrun it. Death commences too early--almost before you're half-acquainted with life--you meet the other.

Time goes by so fast. Nothin' can outrun it. Death commences too early--almost before you're half-acquainted with life--you meet the other.

Tennessee Williams
Val: Why do you go out there?
Sandra: Because dead people give such good advice.
Val: What advice do they give?
Sandra: Just one word- live!

Val: Why do you go out there? Sandra: Because dead people give such good advice. Val: What advice do they give? Sandra: Just one word- live!

Tennessee Williams
And funerals are pretty compared to deaths.

And funerals are pretty compared to deaths.

Tennessee Williams
They told me to take a streetcar named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at - Elysian Fields!

They told me to take a streetcar named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at - Elysian Fields!

Tennessee Williams
A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.

A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.

Tennessee Williams
Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.

Tennessee Williams
The future is called

The future is called "perhaps", which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you.

Tennessee Williams
When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing.

When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing.

Tennessee Williams
I don't believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.

I don't believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.

Tennessee Williams
She lives in a world of her own – a world of – little glass ornaments…

She lives in a world of her own – a world of – little glass ornaments…

Tennessee Williams
The Venus flytrap, a devouring organism, aptly named for the goddess of love.

The Venus flytrap, a devouring organism, aptly named for the goddess of love.

Tennessee Williams
Maggie, we're through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door.

Maggie, we're through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door.

Tennessee Williams
We've had this date with each other from the beginning.

We've had this date with each other from the beginning.

Tennessee Williams
Never inside, I didn't lie in my heart...

Never inside, I didn't lie in my heart...

Tennessee Williams
I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.

I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.

Tennessee Williams
I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is fifty per cent illusion, but when a thing is important I tell the truth.
- Blanche Scene II

I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is fifty per cent illusion, but when a thing is important I tell the truth. - Blanche Scene II

Tennessee Williams
The trouble with this world is that everybody has to compromise and conform.

The trouble with this world is that everybody has to compromise and conform.

Tennessee Williams
Attempting to find in motion what was lost in space.

Attempting to find in motion what was lost in space.

Tennessee Williams
We have to distrust each other. It's our only defense against betrayal.

We have to distrust each other. It's our only defense against betrayal.

Tennessee Williams
It's like a switch, clickin' off in my head. Turns the hot light off and the cool one on, and all of a sudden there's peace.

It's like a switch, clickin' off in my head. Turns the hot light off and the cool one on, and all of a sudden there's peace.

Tennessee Williams
But here there was only hot swing music and liquor, dance halls, ban, and movies, and sex that hung in the gloom like a chandelier and flooded the world with brief, deceptive rainbows.

But here there was only hot swing music and liquor, dance halls, ban, and movies, and sex that hung in the gloom like a chandelier and flooded the world with brief, deceptive rainbows.

Tennessee Williams
Living with someone you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone, if the one that you love doesn't love you.

Living with someone you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone, if the one that you love doesn't love you.

Tennessee Williams
The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one's office for a job.

The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one's office for a job.

Tennessee Williams
My only point, the only point that I'm making, is life has got to be allowed to continue even after the dream of life is--all--over....

My only point, the only point that I'm making, is life has got to be allowed to continue even after the dream of life is--all--over....

Tennessee Williams
Caged birds accept each other, but flight is what they long for.

Caged birds accept each other, but flight is what they long for.

Tennessee Williams
Somebody said once or wrote, once: 'We're all of us children in a vast kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks!

Somebody said once or wrote, once: 'We're all of us children in a vast kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks!

Tennessee Williams
The name of a person you love is more than language.

The name of a person you love is more than language.

Tennessee Williams
The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he’s dying don’t give him pity for others.

The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he’s dying don’t give him pity for others.

Tennessee Williams
I saw that it was all over, put away in a box like a doll no longer cared for, the magical intimacy of our childhood together

I saw that it was all over, put away in a box like a doll no longer cared for, the magical intimacy of our childhood together

Tennessee Williams
Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else.

Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else.

Tennessee Williams
There is only one true aristocracy . . . and that is the aristocracy of passionate souls!

There is only one true aristocracy . . . and that is the aristocracy of passionate souls!

Tennessee Williams
It's interesting, isn't it? . . . the chandelier . . . it reminds me of mushroom soup.

It's interesting, isn't it? . . . the chandelier . . . it reminds me of mushroom soup.

Tennessee Williams
Stella:
And when he comes back I cry on his lap like a baby..
[she smiles to herself]
Blanche:
I guess that is what is meant by being in love..

Stella: And when he comes back I cry on his lap like a baby.. [she smiles to herself] Blanche: I guess that is what is meant by being in love..

Tennessee Williams
If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.

Tennessee Williams
Young, gifted, and destitute...

Young, gifted, and destitute...

Tennessee Williams
Nobody knew my rose of the world but me... I had too much glory. They don't want glory like that in nobody's heart

Nobody knew my rose of the world but me... I had too much glory. They don't want glory like that in nobody's heart

Tennessee Williams
How long does it have to go on? This punishment? Haven't I done time enough, haven't I served my term? can't I apply for a-pardon?

How long does it have to go on? This punishment? Haven't I done time enough, haven't I served my term? can't I apply for a-pardon?

Tennessee Williams
You know, then that the public Somebody you are when you 'have a name' is a fiction created with mirrors and that the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath

You know, then that the public Somebody you are when you 'have a name' is a fiction created with mirrors and that the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath

Tennessee Williams
Stanley:
Delicate piece she is.
Stella:
She is. She was. You didn't know Blanche as a girl. Nobody, nobody, was tender and trusting as she was. But people like you abused her, and forced her to change.

Stanley: Delicate piece she is. Stella: She is. She was. You didn't know Blanche as a girl. Nobody, nobody, was tender and trusting as she was. But people like you abused her, and forced her to change.

Tennessee Williams
I'll be all right in a minute, I'm just bewildered - by life...

I'll be all right in a minute, I'm just bewildered - by life...

Tennessee Williams
-You're simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side, I should think. To interest you a woman would have to... 
-To lay her cards out on the table.

-You're simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side, I should think. To interest you a woman would have to... -To lay her cards out on the table.

Tennessee Williams
No, truth is something desperate, an' she's got it. Believe me, it's something desperate, an' she's got it.

No, truth is something desperate, an' she's got it. Believe me, it's something desperate, an' she's got it.

Tennessee Williams
Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama.

Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama.

Tennessee Williams
A drinking man's someone who wants to forget he isn't still young and believing

A drinking man's someone who wants to forget he isn't still young and believing

Tennessee Williams
Possess your soul in patience - you will see!

Possess your soul in patience - you will see!

Tennessee Williams
Is a lifetime long enough to hold the regret that I have for that fantastically aborted but crazily sweet love affair?

Is a lifetime long enough to hold the regret that I have for that fantastically aborted but crazily sweet love affair?

Tennessee Williams
Openings come quickly, sometimes, like blue space in running clouds. A complete overcast, then a blaze of light....

Openings come quickly, sometimes, like blue space in running clouds. A complete overcast, then a blaze of light....

Tennessee Williams