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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Presented by: Hiyam M. Fayad Samar Ishaer. Outline :. The Author Characters Summary Themes Symbols . The Author . _ He was born in Washington D.C. on March 12,1928 _ He was adopted by a wealthy family from Larchmont, New York.

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who s afraid of virginia woolf

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Presented by:

Hiyam M. Fayad

Samar Ishaer

outline
Outline :

The Author

Characters

Summary

Themes

Symbols

the author
The Author

_ He was born in Washington D.C. on March 12,1928

_ He was adopted by a wealthy family from Larchmont, New York.

_ His first play, The Zoo Story, was performed in 1959, met with fine success, and launched his career.

_ He earned much praise for most of his work, the most famous of which are Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, and Three Tall Women

characters
Characters :

_ George: A 46- years- old member of the history department at New Carthage University. George is married to Martha, in a once loving relationship now defined by sarcasm and frequent acrimony.

_ Martha : is the 52- years- old daughter of the president of New Carthage University. She is married to George, though disappointed with his aborted academic career. She attempts to have an affair with Nick.

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_ Nick : has just become a new member of the biology faculty at New Carthage University. He is 28 years old, good- looking, Midwestern, and clean- cut. He is married to Honey.

_ Honey : is the petite, bland wife of Nick. She is 26 years old, has a weak stomach, and is not the brightest bulb of the bunch.

summary
Summary :

The play is set on the campus of a small, New England university. It opens with the main character, George and Martha coming home from a party at her father's house.

The two of the clearly care deeply for each other, but events have turned their marriage into a nasty battle. Even though the pair arrives home at two o’clock in the morning, the are expecting guests: the new math professor and his wife.

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In the first act, “Fun and Games”, Martha and George try to fight and humiliate each other in new, inventive ways. As they peel away each other’s pretenses and self- respects, George and Martha use Honey and Nick as pawns, transforming their guests into an audience to witness humiliation, into levers for creating jealousy, and into a means for expressing their own sides of their mutual story.

In the second act, “Walpurgisnacht” , these games get even nastier. The evening turns into a nightmare. George and Martha even attack Honey and Nick, attempting to force them to reveal their dirty secrets and true selves.

Finally, in the last act, “The Exorcism”, everyone’s secrets have been revealed and purged. Honey and Nick go home, leaving George and Martha to try to rebuild their shattered marriage.

symbolism
Symbolism :

This play is chock full of baby images. It seems like Albee slips one in at least every other page. First of all, George and Martha call each other “baby” all throughout the play. Martha also calls Nick that a few times too.

George and Martha also often refer to Nick and Honey as if they were children. When the young couple first arrives, George greets them, “You must be our little guests”, while Martha says to them “Hey, kids… sit down”. Later on George calls them “tots” which is an even more blatant baby reference.

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The reason for all this baby imagery becomes pretty clear when we learn that both couples have had imaginary children. Nick married Honey because she had a hysterical pregnancy. She swelled up as if she were pregnant, but it turns out it was all in her mind. And, of course, there is George and Martha’s imaginary son, whose “death” marks the climax of the play.