Lord Byron's Love Letter Summary | Tennessee Williams | Major English Class 12 by Suraj Bhatt

Lord Byron's Love Letter Summary | Tennessee Williams | Major English Class 12 by Suraj Bhatt
Neb English Support Class 12

Lord Byron's Love Letter Summary | Tennessee Williams | Major English Class 12 by Suraj Bhatt 


Lord Byron’s Love Letter by Tennessee Williams



ABOUT THE PLAY

Lord Byron’s Love Letter by Tennessee Williams

This play, "Lord Byron's Love Letter," is one of the masterpiece creations of Tennessee Williams. This play is quite humorous. This play is about two female characters whose lives go on by doing various tricks related to Lord Byron's Love Letter. Both of them are grandmother and granddaughter in their relationship. Both of them cheat the people by showing a fake letter from Lord Byron.


MAIN SUMMARY

Lord Byron’s Love Letter by Tennessee Williams

Spinster is a woman who is forty years old. She is quite an active woman. Her grandmother (Irenee) is quite old and inactive. They do have a parlour where many people come to listen and see the love letter of the romantic poet Lord Byron. The grandmother has a diary and a letter related to Lord Byron. She deceives many people by telling her fake love story with Lord Byron. Most of the people who come to her parlour are badly cheated by these women in the name of money. The diary that she has is about her meeting with Lord Byron on the top of the Acropolis.

In her diary, it was written that, at the end of her European tour, Irenee was 16 years old. She went to Greece with her aunt to study the classic remains of European civilization.

In the morning of 1827, Irenee went to examine the ruins of the Acropolis with her aunt. The ancient city was quite beautiful, with a clear sky and fresh air. In the morning, she read a newspaper in which she found some possibilities of war, but she didn't believe them.

When she reached the foot of the acropolis, the carriage stopped. Her aunt denied going up because of a sore throat. So Irenee moved up alone. While she looked above, she saw a lame man watching the lovely scenery. Irenee said that the lame man was the great poet, Lord Byron. According to Irenee, the man was looking at her. She was quite impressed by the handsome man. She described him as the most handsome man on earth. When she slowly reached the top, he looked like God Apollo. When she reached the top, Lord Byron talked with her about her gloves. He was quite fascinated by her charm. He picked up the gloves and returned them to her. Lord Byron's fingers lightly touched her palm. She became nervous and didn't know what to do next. She became so shy that she nearly fainted. When she walked ahead, she could feel the breath of Lord Byron.


THE LETTER

The letter includes the love feelings of Lord Byron for Irenee. According to Irenee, it is the very letter that was handed to her by Lord Byron. The letter is full of the passionate words of Lord Byron. But the facts of the letter are somewhat different. This letter is a fake one. It was not written by Lord Byron. It was written by her husband. Both of the ladies cheat people only to earn money. Their fake story doesn't have any reality about Lord Byron. Spinster is a very perfect woman who reads her diary and letters in a very interesting fashion. Her interpretation of the story makes the audience believe it so much.

She creates confusion among the audiences who visit the parlour. The grandmother gives the directions to Spinster from behind the curtain. She also warns Spinster to be careful and ask for the money before visitors leave. She becomes furious within a second.


SERIES OF EVENTS

Lord Byron’s Love Letter by Tennessee Williams

Both of the characters, Spinster and Irenee, are sitting in their dark parlour. As an inactive woman, the grandmother is doing nothing, whereas Spinster is sewing.

A Matron arrives with her husband to see and hear Lord Byron's love letter. Matron sees a canary (the name of a bird) in a cage, but it is not alive. When Irenee sees the Matron, she quietly goes behind the curtain. Matron's husband is outside in the street. She calls her husband inside to hear Lord Byron's love letter. Later on, Winston Tutwiler (Matron's husband) comes in. Winston is wearing a paper cap and has drunk. Tutwiler gets introduced to Spinster. Later, Spinster describes how her grandmother meets Lord Byron for the first time at the top of the Acropolis. Spinster reads the diary of her grandmother for Tutwiler.

A little later, Spinster reads the romantic poem for the visitors, which was written by her grandmother in memory of Lord Byron. When Irenee tells Spinster to stop reading the diary and show them the romantic letter from Lord Byron, Matron becomes quite impatient. She curiously hears the events that Spinster tells her.

Matron's husband is not very careful about their story because he is drunk. His wife suggests him to sit up to look at the letter.

Then Winston goes out, telling his wife to follow him. As Matron is ready to leave, Spinster asks her for money. But Matron immediately leaves the parlour without paying money to Spinster. Both husband and wife disappear in the crowd. The grandmother becomes too furious, saying that they have cheated on her. They have gone without paying. Finally, Irenee says to Spinster that her grandfather's letter is lying on the floor.


QUESTION AND ANSWER

Describe the parlour and what happens inside there.

Answer:

Spinster and her old grandmother, Irenee, are in a dark parlour at the beginning of the play. The grandmother is doing nothing, and the spinster is sewing. Someone appears at the door. A Matron has come with her husband to see and hear Lord Byron's love letter, which is believed to have been written by a great poet, Lord Byron, to Irenee when she was a beautiful girl of sixteen. When the Matron enters the parlour, she sees a canary in a small cage, but it is not alive but stuffed. Her husband is outside in the street. He is called in by the Matron to look at the love letter. He is wearing a paper cap, and he is drunk. His name is Winston Tutwiler. When they are introduced, Spinster describes how her grandmother met Lord Byron on the steps of the Acropolis. She reads her grandmother's diary for the Tutwilers.

The old woman tells Spinster to stop reading the diary and to show them the letter. She also reads the poem written by the grandmother in memory of Lord Byron. Then the husband goes out, telling his wife to follow him. As the Matron is ready to leave the parlour, Spinster asks the Matron for some money. But the Matron leaves immediately without paying any money, saying that her husband may disappear into the crowd. The grandmother is angry and says that they have gone without paying money and that they have cheated her. It seems that the grandmother and Spinster earn their living by showing the letter and asking for some money. Finally, Irenee tells her granddaughter that her grandfather's letter is lying on the floor. This shows that the letter is fake. It is not Lord Byron's letter, but they cheat the people to earn their living.


Narrate the story of the young woman's meeting with Lord Byron.

Answer:

Towards the end of her tour of Europe, the grandmother, a young American girl of sixteen, goes to Greece with her aunt to study the classic remains of the oldest European civilization. In the early morning of April 1827, Irene goes to examine the ruins of the Acropolis with her aunt. The ancient city is really beautiful and mysterious. The sky is clear, and the morning is pure and fresh. The newspapers of that morning show the possibility of war, but Irene doesn't believe it. When the carriage stops at the foot of the Acropolis, the aunt hesitates to go up. She is not feeling well as she has a sore throat. So, Irenee starts to climb the stone steps of the Acropolis alone. A light breeze is blowing, and the scenery is unforgettable for her. When she looks above, she sees a lame man walking and looking back towards the lovely scenery. According to the lady, the man is a great poet, Lord Byron, and he is actually looking at her. She is very impressed by the handsome man. She describes him as the handsomest man on earth. When he reaches the top, he looks like God Apollo. According to the grandmother, she walks softly far without disturbing the poetic imagination of Lord Byron. When she also reaches the top, he behaves as if he is not aware of her coming. When they look at each other, the poet is attracted by her charm, and she becomes coy, and she nearly faints. He says that she has dropped her gloves. When he returns her gloves, his fingers lightly touch her palms. She becomes breathless and nervous. She is confused and doesn't know what to do next. When she walks ahead slowly, she can feel the breath of Lord Byron.


Contrast the characters of the old woman and the Spinster.

Answer:

At the beginning of the play, the old woman and Spinster are sitting in a dark parlor. The old woman is wearing a black silk dress, and she is doing nothing. On the other hand, Spinster is a woman of forty, and she is sewing. It seems that the old woman is the grandmother of Spinster. These two women have been earning their living by showing a letter to the visitors and asking for some money from them. This letter is supposed to be sent to the old woman when she was a charming girl of 16 by the great poet Lord Byron. When the visitors come to look at the letter, the old woman goes behind the curtain, and Spinster goes to the door to deal with the visitors. The old woman gives directions to Spinster from behind the curtain. She tells Spinster to read the diary for the visitors. She also warns Spinster to be careful and to ask for the money before the visitors leave. When the Matron goes out to call her husband, the old woman warns Spinster to watch them carefully. When the Matron is leaving after having a look at the letter, the old woman tells Spinster to ask for some money. When the Matron and her husband go without paying, the old woman becomes very angry. They have been cheating the visitors by showing the fake letter, but this time they were cheated by the visitors.

At last, the old woman tells Spinster that the letter from her grandfather is lying on the floor. This discloses the mystery of the letter. The old woman is mysterious and creates confusion among the audience. She pretends that she has met Lord Byron at the Acropolis. Spinster is skilled in dealing with the visitors and reading the diary in a realistic and persuasive way to make the visitors believe that it is the real letter written by Lord Byron.


Annotate the following passage 

(a) Your grandfather's letter is lying on the floor.

Answer:

Towards the end of the play, the Matron and her husband go away without paying money. Spinster asks the Matron for some money, but the latter doesn't pay any attention. The old woman gets angry when the Matron and her husband cheat on them. She then tells her granddaughter that her grandfather's letter is lying on the floor. Though the old woman and Spinster have been earning their living by showing Lord Byron's letter to the visitors, it is actually a fake letter written by the grandfather of Spinster to her grandmother.


(b) How nice! I'm dying to see it! Winston? Do sit up!

Answer:

The Matron is a visitor who has come with her drunken husband to the house of the old woman to have a look at Lord Byron's love letter. She has been curious to see the letter. When Spinster reads the diary and tells the romantic story of her grandmother's meeting with Lord Byron on the stone steps of the Acropolis of Greece, the Matron listens very curiously. When Spinster shows her love letter to Byron, the Matron is quite excited. She tells her drunken husband to sit up to have a look at the letter. She has been waiting for a long time to look at that letter. She is quite excited and impatient to watch the letter.


(c) Now, though I to myself, Apollo has come to earth in modern dress.

Answer:

According to the story of the grandmother, she goes to study the classical remains of the oldest European civilization in Greece while visiting Europe as a charming American girl of 16. She recounts her romantic experience of climbing the stone steps of the Acropolis and her meeting and romance with Lord Byron. Byron is going ahead, and she is following him behind. The poet looks behind the beautiful scenery, but actually he is looking at the charming girl. According to the grandmother, when the poet reaches the top, he spreads his arms like a young god. She feels that God Apollo has come to earth in modern dress.


(d) Actually, he was watching the girl behind him.

Answer:

The grandmother of Spinster, as a 16-year-old charming American girl, goes to study the classic remains of the oldest European civilization in Greece. According to her story, her aunt has a sore throat, and she stays at the bottom of the Acropolis. The grandmother, as a young girl, climbs the steps alone when she sees Lord Byron walking lamely ahead of her. According to her, the poet looks back frequently to enjoy the beautiful scenery behind her. But actually, according to her, the poet looks back at the beautiful girl (i.e., she herself).


(e) And burned the body of the poet Shelley who was drowned in a storm on the Mediterranean with a volume of Keats in his pocket!

Answer:

In this extract, the old woman tells the Matron about Byron, Shelly, and Keats, the great Romantic poets. Shelly is a good friend and contemporary poet of Byron. When Shelly dies accidentally after being drowned in the Mediterranean, Byron is also present at the funeral. Shelly loves Keats, who dies earlier than him. When Shelly drowns, a volume of Keats is found in his pocket. This shows that Byron was influenced and inspired by Keats.




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