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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


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Play by Edward Albee, produced in 1962.

Martha, the middle-aged daughter of the president of a small New England college, and her husband George, an unsuccessful professor in its History Department, entertain a new faculty member, Nick, and his wife Honey in an evening of drunken antagonism, much of it devoted to Martha's game “Humiliate the Host.” George and Martha's elliptical references to their 21-year-old son and other revelations lead Nick to confide that he married Honey only because she said she was pregnant. As the evening goes on, Honey gets sick, George wanders off, and Nick tries to sleep with Martha but is impotent. Through all the wild affairs it becomes clear that the older couple invented the story that they have a child and the younger couple's marriage is also sterile because Honey fears childbirth. The entire night is an intense exposure of sadism and masochism, aggression and fearfulness, expressed in an orgy of emotions.

Subjects: Literature.


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Authors

Edward Albee (b. 1928) American dramatist


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