Albee - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.docx

3 Pages
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Department
English
Course Code
ENG364Y1
Professor
Scott Rayter

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Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Film - Director – huge reputation - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton  made 11 films together - Shot in Northampton, MA - Martha is supposed to look older, but George does - Originally Robert Redford was supposed to be Nick - The use of the unconscious – what does unconscious mean? – Trauma - We don’t know where trauma begins because we don’t know truth - Big difference between the film and the play = previous marriage o Why cut the ref. to marriage in the movie? st o 1 marriage important o Performative – annulment – as if it never happened - Martha’s whole life has been an illusion - Marriage for Martha = business proposition for her father - Play just on cusp of rebellion of 60’s, hippie 70’s - Martha very smart – her & George = perfect match o Their role metatheatrical – they’re performing in front of Nick and Honey, but also an audience - Albee experimenting with nonlinear structure - Where is the truth behind any of this illusion? o Role-playing and power fundamental to play o Gender o Irony – talk AT each other – not really communicating - People offended by Martha’s brazen sexuality o WHY is she so angry? o Stultified female intelligence o How did she become the way she is? - George and Martha Washington – mother and father of America o Why call them George and Martha? - Their son doesn’t exist o Why did they invent a child? o “WE” couldn’t have children – so they’ve made one up o As long as there are two people, they can confirm each other’s illusions o Thinking about the child of America being made up = disturbing - What would it mean for a woman not to have a child at that time? o Stigma  a level of how damaged she is o They’ve created a child through language that can be changed/destroyed - Why set it at a university rather than a regular house, etc? o University = leaders of tomorrow o He teaches children/youth, but he’s a mess - New Carthage – Carthage destroyed by Romans, & Dido was from Carthage o History – violence o History repeating itself - WW2 upset gender balance - Finishing school – being “finished” – to be a good wife - Anti-intellectualism - Existentialism - European directors dealing with ideas of absurdi
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