Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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Margaret Character Analysis

Maggie is the self-proclaimed cat on a hot tin roof of the play’s title. She’s attractive, ambitious, and desperate to regain her husband Brick’s attention, which she lost after interfering in his friendship with Skipper (ultimately leading to Skipper’s death). She’s worked hard to earn her status in life, and she spends the play trying to find a way to stay at the top of the ladder by inheriting Big Daddy’s estate, even as Brick drinks away their chances. She’s desperate to have a child with Brick, and her desperation makes her shrill and catty—but she’s not the only one. Although Maggie’s the only self-proclaimed cat in the play, all the characters have desires and regrets that make them jump and just trying to hold on.

Margaret Quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof quotes below are all either spoken by Margaret or refer to Margaret. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Lies Theme Icon
).
Act 1 Quotes

Hell, do they ever know it? Nobody says, "You're dying." You have to fool them. They have to fool themselves.

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Big Daddy

In this way I destroyed him, by telling him truth that he and his world which he was born and raised in, yours and his world, had told him could not be told.

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker)

I'm honest! Give me credit for just that, will you please?

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker)

When a marriage goes on the rocks, the rocks are there, right there!

Related Characters: Big Mama (speaker), Margaret

Yes, I made my mistake when I told you the truth about that thing with Skipper. Never should have confessed it, a fatal error, tellin' you about that thing with Skipper.

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

But Brick?!—Skipper is dead! I'm alive!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true!—I had a friendship with Skipper.—You are naming it dirty!

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Margaret

When something is festering in your memory or your imagination, laws of silence don't work, it's just like shutting a door and locking it on a house on fire in hope of forgetting that the house is still burning. But not facing a fire doesn't put it out. Silence about a thing just magnifies it. It grows and festers in silence, becomes malignant.

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker)

Born poor, raised poor, expect to die poor unless I manage to get us something out of what Big Daddy leaves when he dies of cancer!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick, Big Daddy
Act 2 Quotes

Maybe that's why you put Maggie and me in this room that was Jack Straw's and Peter Ochello's, in which that pair of old sisters slept in a double bed where both of 'em died!

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Margaret, Big Daddy
Act 3 Quotes

Brick, I used to think that you were stronger than me and I didn’t want to be overpowered by you. But now, since you’ve taken to liquor—you know what? –I guess it’s bad, but now I’m stronger than you and I can love you more truly!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

And so tonight we're going to make the lie true, and when that's done, I'll bring the liquor back here and we'll get drunk together, here, tonight, in this place that death has come into….

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick
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Margaret Character Timeline in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The timeline below shows where the character Margaret appears in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret marches into the bedroom, undressing, while Brick showers in the connecting bathroom. She complains that... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Margaret says that Mae and Gooper aim to cut Brick out of Big Daddy’s estate, now... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
However, Margaret says that Brick still has one big advantage—Big Daddy dotes on him and dislikes Gooper... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
As Margaret continues to make fun of Mae’s title as a former cotton carnival queen, she suddenly... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
When Margaret recovers and gets Brick’s attention again, she tells him that she gets lonely. Brick tells... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Margaret replies that it’s impossible to tell he hasn’t been working out—in fact, she thinks he... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret again asks what Brick was thinking of when he was looking at her. She asks... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret tells Brick that they mustn’t shout because the walls have ears—but she believes that a... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Brick asks Margaret for a favor and tells her to keep her voice down. Margaret whispers that she’ll... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Brick says that they decided on certain conditions when Brick agreed to continue living with Margaret, but Margaret retorts that they aren’t living together—just occupying the same cage. She interrupts their... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...carrying the bow of an archery set. She asks whether it belongs to Brick, and Margaret responds that the bow is her Diana Trophy, won at an intercollegiate archery contest. Mae... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Brick tells Margaret that being catty doesn’t help matters, and Margaret says she knows that—but she’s eaten up... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret locks the door, and Brick tells her not to make a fool of herself. He... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Mama says she has wonderful news about Big Daddy. Margaret opens the door while Brick hobbles into the bathroom, but Big Mama meanwhile has entered... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...on the phone, and Big Mama shouts into the phone before passing it on to Margaret to deliver the news about Big Daddy’s health report. (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...she jerks her finger towards the liquor cabinet to ask whether Brick’s been drinking, and Margaret pretends not to understand. Big Mama rushes back and tells her to stop playing dumb.... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Margaret straightens when Brick exits the bathroom. She announces that she believes their sex life will... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Brick tells Margaret that she could leave him, but she refuses and adds that he wouldn’t have a... (full context)
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Margaret says that she’ll defeat Gooper and Mae though. She launches into a rant about having... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Margaret gets visibly upset again, moving restlessly about the room as she says that she made... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Margaret remembers a double date they had in school, during which it seemed more like Skipper... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Brick continues to try to attack Margaret with his crutch as she tells this story. She says that she knows what she... (full context)
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Ignoring Margaret, Dixie asks Brick why he’s on the floor. Brick responds that he tried to kill... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret tells Dixie to go away, and Dixie points the cap pistol at Margaret, who loses... (full context)
Act 2
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...Reverend Tooker laughs awkwardly, as Mae and Doctor Baugh appear, talking about the children’s immunizations. Margaret tells Brick to turn on the Hi-Fi. When he ignores her, she turns it on... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...Big Mama again launches into a speech about the wonderful results of the health report. Margaret interjects, asking Brick whether he’s given Big Daddy his birthday present yet. Gooper bets that... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...and Big Daddy continues to interrogate him, asking whether he was drunk. Big Mama and Margaret try to change the subject, drawing attention back to the cake, but Big Daddy bellows... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Big Daddy asks to speak to Brick, and Margaret delivers him, exiting onto the gallery with a kiss, which Brick wipes off. At this... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Daddy tells Brick that Mae and Gooper have reported that Brick won’t sleep with Margaret. He asks whether this is true and tells Brick to get rid of Margaret if... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...and starts telling Big Daddy his version of what happened with Skipper. He says that Margaret was jealous of their friendship and started planting in Skipper the idea that he was... (full context)
Act 3
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...left because he was just worn out, but was really very happy to see family. Margaret goes to the gallery to fetch Brick, while Big Mama starts to get nervous that... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Margaret tells Brick to sit with Big Mama as they deliver the news, but he tells... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Big Mama tells Margaret that she’s got to help get Brick sober again so that he can take hold... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...dream would be to have a grandson from Brick. Mae responds that it’s too bad Margaret and Brick can’t oblige. In response, Margaret grows determined and says she has an announcement... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Mama rushes out to tell Big Daddy the news, while Mae screams that Margaret is lying about her pregnancy. Mae says that she and Gooper can hear Maggie and... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret thanks Brick for not exposing her. Meanwhile, Brick continues to drink and finally obtains his... (full context)