Plot summary[ edit ] Act One: George is an associate professor of history and Martha is the daughter of the president of the college where George teaches.
Its mixture of the knowing and the naive reflects the attitudes of the liberal youth in the s to all the political, social, and moral conventions from which they had liberated themselves.
In a variety of vindictive and vituperative engagements, George and Martha exercise an inexhaustible capacity to inflict wounds on each other, fuelled by an equally inexhaustible capacity to consume strong drink.
Also present are Nick and Honey, newcomers to the university, whom Martha has invited over for a nightcap after the party. George and Martha drag this young couple into their personal war, now as allies against each other, now as a common victim; sometimes presenting themselves as a cautionary example, sometimes using the couple to justify their own failures and bitterness.
Above all, they seem to need the couple as both spectators and partners in a series of cruel games that form the substance of their marriage. These games are both the major weapons they employ against each other and the means by which they continue to need, know, and commune with each other—a contorted, desperate parody of how they once vowed to love, honor, and obey.
George seems to take a grim pleasure in referring to their marital animosities by glib, playful names such as Humiliate the Host, Hump the Hostess, and Get the Guests. Well, how they got married is this. Unable to have any children—no reason is ever given, but there is a hint that it is the consequence of an abortion while Martha was still at school—they have invented an imaginary son, of whom they never speak to outsiders.
This is the basic rule of Bringing Up Baby. You cannot do that! I will not let you decide these things! At no point in the play is there any explicit acknowledgment that the son whose death George announces is an invention.
Although his account of the event seems unnaturally callous, he appears to be the messenger of a tragic fatality, to which Martha responds with appropriate horror and Nick with clumsy efforts of consolation.
You may not decide these things. He is our child! And I have killed him! What poor Nick does not understand, however, is that his own childlessness is the result of a similar decision his wife has unilaterally made.
Just as George has decided to end the life of his fictional son, Honey, fearing the pains of childbirth, has aborted all the pregnancies of her marriage, a fact that she has hidden from her husband but which she reveals to George in an unguarded moment of drunken confession.
I should have known. Does he know that? You got a secret supply of pills? Early in the play, Nick asks George whether he and Martha have any children. As a counterpoint to the confrontation between George and Martha, Albee has set up a series of rivalries between the two couples: Nick is young, handsome, and professionally successful; George is middle-aged, gray, and a failure.
Nick teaches biology while George teaches history, a difference which is developed into a rivalry in order to support an ideological opposition between the dying old order and the new world of progress and prosperity.
The rival generations do, however, have something in common: George and Martha cannot have children, Nick and Honey do not have children—yet: George and Martha, faced with their no-choice situation—their inability to have children—have not let reality stand in the way of their making a choice.
They have invented an imaginary son. Invented by choice, destroyed by choice—how else can a fictional child exist or cease to be? But can we do the same with a real child? Having played out the illusion of motherhood so deeply and tenaciously, Martha feels and expresses the grief that Honey has avoided, having denied the human reality of her own aborted children.
It is fitting, then, that the two bereaved characters are united by an alternative rhetoric. Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine, Honey: Et lux perpetua luceat eis.A summary of Act III in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee first staged in It examines the complexities of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George.
Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests, and draw them into their bitter and frustrated ashio-midori.com premiered: Billy Rose Theatre. Truth or illusion? When the fantasy world people create in order to cope with the absurdity of life is brought too far into reality, it becomes hard to distinguish between authenticity and fiction.
This ambiguity is apparent in both Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
and Henrik Ibsen's A. E dward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which opened on Broadway on the eve of the Cuban missile crisis, was bound to be a ashio-midori.com mixture of the knowing and the naive reflects the attitudes of the liberal youth in the s to all the political, social, and moral conventions from which they had liberated themselves.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a American black comedy-drama film directed by Mike ashio-midori.com screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward ashio-midori.com film stars Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George, with George Segal as Nick and Sandy Dennis as Honey..
The film Directed by: Mike Nichols.