The Rose Tattoo

Definition

Theater

  • A play by Tennessee Williams, first performed in 1950in New York and seen in London in 1959. When the play was presentedat the first Dublin Festival in 1957 its treatment of illicit loveled to a ban; the festival founder Alan Simpson was arrested, resultingin the suspension of the event the following year. The film version(1955) starred Burt Lancaster and Anna Magnani.

    The story, set within the Sicilian community of New Orleans,centres on the pious Serafina Delle Rose, a 30-year-old dressmaker,who still mourns the death of her truck-driver husband, Rosario, threeyears earlier. She talks to his ashes (kept in an urn) and locks upRosa, her 15-year-old daughter, to keep her from her sweetheart, Jack.When Serafina hears gossip of her dead husband's infidelity, she isdistraught. However, at this point Alvaro, a young truck driver, comesinto her life. Because he reminds her of Rosario, even having thesame rose tattoo on his chest, Serafina accepts him as a lover. Rosaaccuses her mother of hypocrisy, and Serafina allows her to go toJack. Serafina then feels the tattoo appearing on her own breast andknows she has conceived.

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