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How does George and Martha's entrance into the house establish an initial sense of their characters?

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How does George and Martha's entrance into the house establish an initial sense of their characters? 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' by Edward Albee was written in 1962, Shirley Galloway, described it as his most 'disturbing and powerful work'. It is a play about a dysfunctional couple, George and Martha who are well into middle age. Martha is the daughter of the president of a university where George works as a history professor. They invite Nick and Honey, a new professor and his wife to their house after a party. Back at home Martha and George continue drinking and put on a show of relentless criticism of each other and at times physical abuse in front of their guests. When we are first introduced to Martha and George we get an insight into their dysfunctional relationship. Right at the beginning of the play there is name calling and accusation between the couple. ...read more.


In Act One, George warns Martha not to "bring up the kid." Martha scoffs at his warning, and ultimately the topic of their son comes up into conversation. This upsets and annoys George. Martha hints that George is upset because he is not certain that the child is his. George confidently denies this, stating that if he is certain of anything, he is confident of his connection to the creation of their son. George is a professor of history and Martha enjoys relentless ridiculing of Georges professional failure. George has failed to meet the overwhelming expectations of Martha and her father who hoped George would succeed him. George, as Martha is fond of saying, is a bog in the history department; after many years he is not yet even the departmental chair. Martha enjoys taunting George about his lack of professional success and George does very little to fight back. ...read more.


It seems for Martha, that George is incapable of satisfying her needs because she is constantly on the lookout for younger men, hence the reason why she has invited Nick and Honey back to her place as she saw Nick as a bit of an eye candy. Martha flirts outrageously with Nick right in front of George and as the audience we begin to feel sympathetic to George who doesn't seem to be man enough to stop his wife from committing full blown adultery right in his face. When Martha makes her reappearance in the living room after showing Honey around ,she has changed her clothes into something more comfortable and voluptuous something she rarely does according to George "Martha is not changing for me, Martha hasn't changed for me in years". In conclusion, George and Martha may be a dysfunctional couple yet despite all their problems as Albee reveals there is a positive feeling that unites these two troubled people and that helps them look beyond their self created hell and unite. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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