Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Topics: Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Theatre of the Absurd Pages: 3 (825 words) Published: November 28, 2010
Professor Corin
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Before I read Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, I did a little research on Edward Albee the playwright. I realized that the assigned play would not be the first I have read by Albee but the second. A few years ago I read A Delicate Balance. Once I finished Virginia Woolf I was able to compare the two plays, which helped me develop an idea about Albee’s writing and his style. Edward Albee’s plays are usually unapologetic examination of modern society, usually to an extreme, like Edward Albee said himself "That's what happens in plays, yes? The shit hits the fan”, which tends to be true in most of his plays. Albee had an impact on theatre in the 1960’s when many people were still in the mindset of the of the 1950’s, Albee was doing the opposite in American Theatre, as Albee said his plays are “an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen"(Dircks). Many of his plays dissect the social convention of marriage and other conventions that are believed make the individual feel complete and apart of the American dream. His impact on American Theatre has been significant which has led him to be compared to famous American Playwrights Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.

Edward Albee’s, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , premiered on Broadway in 1962. The play was viewed as controversial because of its’ sexual themes and use of profanity. The major theme in Who’s’ Afraid of Virginia Woolf is reality and illusions which is common in many of his plays. Albee creates his characters with illusions that make them feel complete, and then he strips them away making the audience question what happens when the individual lose whatever it is that gives their lives meaning. The world no longer makes...
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