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Last Reviewed on June 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 176

Camino Real is one of Tennessee Williams' darker plays. The real-life Camino Real was a highway going from Santa Fe to Chihuahua, Mexico. In the play, it is the setting for a quasi-nihilistic state, in which many of the characters are dreamlike. In the play, Don Quixote is deserted by Sancho Panza and needs to someone to take Sancho Paza's place. He chooses the disillusioned Kilroy, an American soldier, to take his place. A hotel is built over the town's only water source by the incorrigible and merciless Gutman. Other characters appear in dreams, including Camille and Casanova, Lord Byron, Esmeralda, and La Madrecita (a blind singer).

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These characters experience resurrection in a variety of ways (including, for example, Esmeralda having her virginity restored). The following, final line of the play (spoken by Quixote when Casanova reveals that he is in love) has became famous: "The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks."

Though the play depicts resurrections, it is notably devoid of any guiding moral principle, leading scholars to deem it existentialist in nature.

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Themes