Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Wikipedia
The illusionary component of George and Martha's relationship is best symbolized by their imaginary son. George, jarred by Martha's breaking of their rule. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee first staged in It examines the . to Gerard Malanga, a Warhol associate and friend to Maas). The primary conflict between George and Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? derived from Maas and Menken's tempestuous and volatile relationship. George and Martha, the main characters of Edward Albee's "Who's Otterbein University Theatre & Dance from USA (Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?)/ . of anything, he is confident of his connection to the creation of their son.
It is so amusing and at the same time moving and is really about the important things in life. Nothing is rarer, at any rate, on the English stage. I wonder if you have ever read a short story which my wife wrote and is printed in A Haunted House? In Lappin and Lapinovaa married couple having trouble coping with a dreary childless marriage invent a secret fantasy world where both the husband and wife are rabbits.
Im going to write a comedy about it. As the play opens, the two main characters, Martha and George, who Albee named after the famous first couple President George Washington and his wife Martha, are coming home late from a faculty party.
Martha is the daughter of the president of the university and her husband is a history professor. Martha tells George she has invited some guests over, a young couple named Nick and Honey, for a few drinks. George makes fun of Martha because of her age and drinking problem while Martha repeatedly berates George for his failures in life.
Martha and Honey then excuse themselves so Martha can show Honey to the bathroom. Nick and George talk for a while until Honey returns and immediately asks George about his son, whom Martha had just told her about.
When Martha begins to tell an embarrassing story about how she once sucker punched George in front of her father, George appears behind her with a large gun. When he fires it, an umbrella pops out of the end of the gun. Martha continues to berate George, who reacts angrily by smashing a bottle.
In fact, it is George who takes command of the task of divesting their illusion although he does it in a cruel manner. Still, he helps Martha rid herself of this imaginary world of self-deception.
It is because of his efforts that the illusion ultimately is expelled from their lives. Therefore, despite his apparent weaknesses, George becomes a mighty force of change in this play, ushering in a new stage of their marriage that will hopefully be more honest and genuine than the previous one.
At the end of the play he triumphs despite how the pain that he and Martha undergo in confronting the horrible reality of their lives. Even though he still may be weak, unambitious and unsuccessful, he at least has salvaged their relationship. Although he lacks her father's shrewdness and success, he does have qualities that are devalued but just as important: George calls her destructive and satanic and treats her as a demonic and perverse woman.
She is at once a vixen, who attempts to seduce younger men and succeeds as is the case with Nick and a shrew, bent on degrading her husband in public. Psychologically, Martha is an estranged and distraught woman. Though superficially she is projected as malicious, she is in fact a profoundly troubled person.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The minor details given in the script point to these characteristics of hers. Her mother died when she was just a child and her father married an extremely wealthy old lady, who never loved or cared for her. However, her father looked after her and she in turn adored him even though he managed to dissolve her first marriage because he did not approve of the boy's class.
When George came into the picture, he saw him George as an ideal husband for Martha and a suitable heir to his position. As time passed he was proved wrong since George lacked the drive to achieve success. With this, his relationship with his daughter became a little cold and reserved.
In George's words her father does not care "whether she lives or dies. Gradually she becomes addicted to it. Her wailing under the spell of liquor, "I cry all the time too, Daddy. I cry all the time; but deep inside, so no one can see me," indicate her insurmountable grief. Other than his position as college president, no information about Martha's father is given, not even his name. The audience only gets two differing portraits of him.
One is the glorified version provided by Martha and other is the less kindly portrait that George creates. To George, he is a mouse with red eyes, invoking a laboratory experiment. George is an associate professor of history and Martha is the daughter of the president of the college where George teaches. After they return home from a faculty party, Martha reveals she has invited a young married couple, whom she met at the party, for a drink.
The guests arrive — Nick, a biology professor who Martha thinks teaches mathand his wife, Honey. As the four drink, Martha and George engage in scathing verbal abuse of each other in front of Nick and Honey.
The younger couple is first embarrassed and later enmeshed. Martha taunts George aggressively, and he retaliates with his usual passive aggression. Martha tells an embarrassing story about how she humiliated him with a sucker punch in front of her father. During the telling, George appears with a gun and fires at Martha, but an umbrella pops out. After this scare, Martha's taunts continue, and George reacts violently by breaking a bottle. Nick and Honey become increasingly unsettled and, at the end of the act, Honey runs to the bathroom to vomitbecause she had too much to drink.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? | Edward Albee Society
Nick and George are sitting outside. As they talk about their wives, Nick says that his wife had a " hysterical pregnancy ".
George tells Nick about a time that he went to a gin mill with some boarding school classmates, one of whom had accidentally killed his mother by shooting her. This friend was laughed at for ordering "bergin". The following summer, the friend accidentally killed his father while driving, was committed to an asylumand never spoke again.
George and Nick discuss the possibility of having children and eventually argue and insult each other. After they rejoin the women in the house, Martha and Nick dance suggestively.
Martha also reveals the truth about George's creative writing escapades: George responds by attacking Martha, but Nick separates them. George suggests a new game called "Get the Guests".
George insults and mocks Honey with an extemporaneous tale of "the Mousie" who "tooted brandy immodestly and spent half her time in the upchuck". Honey realizes that the story is about her and her "hysterical pregnancy". The implication is that she trapped Nick into marrying her because of a false pregnancy.