Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4.4 19
by Edward Albee
     
 

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“Twelve times a week,” answered Uta Hagen, when asked how often she’d like to play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Like her, audiences and critics alike could not get enough of Edward Albee’s masterful play. A dark comedy, it portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By

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Overview

“Twelve times a week,” answered Uta Hagen, when asked how often she’d like to play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Like her, audiences and critics alike could not get enough of Edward Albee’s masterful play. A dark comedy, it portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening’s end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. With the play’s razor-sharp dialogue and the stripping away of social pretense, Newsweek rightly foresaw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as “a brilliantly original work of art—an excoriating theatrical experience, surging with shocks of recognition and dramatic fire [that] will be igniting Broadway for some time to come.”

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Albee can…be placed high among the important dramatists of the contemporary world theatre.”—New York Post“An irreplaceable experience…A crucial event in the birth of contemporary American theatre.”—Village Voice
NY Journal-American
This is a Big One.
Women's Wear Daily
...a scorching, scalding, revealing and completely engrossing drama.
NY Herald-Tribune
...a brilliant piece of writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451158710
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1983
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
143,346
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.81(h) x 0.75(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“Albee can…be placed high among the important dramatists of the contemporary world theatre.”—New York Post “An irreplaceable experience…A crucial event in the birth of contemporary American theatre.”—Village Voice

Meet the Author

Edward Albee, the American dramatist, was born in 1928. He has written and directed some of the best plays in contemporary American theatre and three of his plays: A Delicate Balance, Seascape and Three Tall Women have received Pulitzer Prizes. His most famous play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. His other plays include The Zoo Story, The Death of Bessie Smith, The Sandbox, The American Dream, Tiny Alice, All Over, Listening, The Lady from Dubuque, The Man Who Had Three Arms, Finding the Sun, Fragments, Marriage Play and The Lorca Play.

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an extrodinary booik and a film, I find this book oustanding and a marvelous piece of film writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a read like no other. An over-the-top drama about the many demons of our past that we have swiped under the rug and how they explode onto the surface. Here are the indelible George and Martha, a couple torn apart by years of hatred, desire, sexual frustration, and malice. They take in another couple, Nick and Honey who become there pawns in George and Martha's belittling and embarrassment of each other. The agony, and unbearable misery that these four main characters face in there quest for deliverance is what makes this play a mesmerizing and at times disturbing view of marriage and the threat of divorce.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The play takes place in New Carthage not New England. New Carthage is representative of Babylon and hence history. Thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Albee's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' is, in my opinion, the greatest play ever written. The characters of George and Martha are so insane, rude, and almost sleazy that they are practically embarassing their guests. You can tell that George wants to impress Nick and Honey but can't hold back from fighting with Martha. You can tell that Nick is embarassed to be around these people and that he can't help but show the embarassment and hold back the anger. And you can tell that Honey is just sickened by these people at some points and she adores them at other points. Albee's genious is shown here, especially with the 'Humiliate the Host' and 'Get the Guests' scenes and all of George and Martha's monologues. As an actor, I would love to play Nick or George on stage. Preferably Nick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read to Understand the Insanity, Drunkeness,Psychological Complications of Parents Who Lost A Child. Majority of Parents who have Lost a Child Divorice. This movie lends itself to the irresponsiblity, carlessness, argumentative, blaming, numbness (alcohol as the choice to desensitize the pain),heart wrenching lives parents who have lost a child can live through. When one reads it, they feel as if they too are going to go nuts if they have to read any more. If one can view these thoughts as the mind of a person who has suffered the death of a loved one, one might see the confusion, tormented agony, dissaray, illusion they suffer. Get with the program review critics, there's more depth here than just nasty words, sexuality, and mind games filmed. (I had to view this movie(not the book) for an american playhouse college course.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
the most important piece of literature of the 20th century, period.
Guest More than 1 year ago
be a first-hand witness to the diminishing of the final strands of sanity a new england couple of middle-aged alcoholics has holding their tired, fabricated lives together. this account of a late-night meeting between four flawed but intriguing characters will leave the reader naked with the equatable guilt of a witness to a rape. leave all of your preconcieved notions of what pain is behind. this is truly a portrait of humilliation and broken dreams.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the "revised edition". I don't recommend it. Key scenes and details have been removed from the original version of the script by Albee. As a result, the character of Honey is much more of a "secondary" role and, quite frankly, doesn't make sense. Albee also cuts out important references to "the kid", which are not an improvement. The only thing Albee added to this new version was more coarse language. Find the original version of the script somewhere. The original is wonderful. Don't buy, read, or produce this "revised edition." (I saw it on Broadway in 2005. It just doesn't compare to Albee's script from the 1960s.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Plunged into a world of accusations, dishonesty, and pain, Edward Albee¿s ¿Who¿s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?¿ paints a story of a harsh, problematic couple and their encounters with a seemingly perfect young pair. Set in the house of Martha and George on a college campus, Nick and Honey are innocently invited over after a party. Unfortunately, they are ignorant of the woes and anguish of the George and Martha relationship. They are shocked and almost disgusted by the devastatingly hurtful way Martha and George treat each other. Throughout the novel the reader is subjected to an all too realistic modern world where relationships are full of hate and spite, and are familiarized with the virtues that have been lost for decades. Ironically, one could leave feeling better about one¿s own relationships after the feeling of alarm when reading about George and Martha¿s. Apparently getting a sick enjoyment out of vehemently hurting and maddening the other, George and Martha have serious problems with their marriage. Their anger is fueled further it seems by Nick and Honey¿s visit, who are ostensibly the proper, perfect pair. Nick and Honey are uncomfortable with the situation at first, until Honey gets drunk and Nick begins to flirt with Martha. George acerbates his wife to the point of where Martha¿s threats to be unfaithful with Nick are finally realized. In return, George fabricates a lie, knowing it will hurt Martha to the point of an emotional breakdown. Their marriage represented many all too real aspects of modern culture. Benevolence, respect, and sympathy are all merits that have been lost in today¿s society. Yet, at the same time, Albee created a parallel where it was obvious they were in love as well, especially at the end. It was evident that while George and Martha indubitably weren¿t happy with the marriage, both were afraid of never finding happiness without the other. But by playing revenge and purposely tormenting each other, George and Martha seem to only further distance themselves from their spouse. ¿Who¿s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?¿ will always be a testament to how much society has changed, and gives a realistic insight into the lives of a married couple. While reading one realizes the rare virtues that should be kept and treasured and this is why the play has become a valuable classic.