In Act 3 of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? (that would be underlined), Albee creates a literal "exorcism" of emotions and truth. The "labels" are "peel[ed]" off all the characters and there in an uncontrolable encounter with the reality behind Martha and George's relationship. In an "exorcism" where there would be a religious figure trying to remove such an unpleasant situation Albee provides the audience with the death of Martha and George's "16 year old son" which ironically also kills the conflict eluding in their marriage. (i would write more but i want to practice other peels in different sections :)
Albee presents this "exorcism" replete with George acting as a priest during the Latin mass of the dead: "Deliver, O Lord, the souls of all the departed faithful..." as Martha nostalgically describes their imaginary "beautiful, beautiful boy." The audience, at this point, realizes that George has "snap[ped]" and will simultaneously put their "little bugger" and the "fun and games" to eternal rest.
Edward Albee's use of the word "exorcism" as the title of the second act emphasizes the tension that arises from both the literal exorcism of George and Martha's unborn son and the cleansing of their marriage. Albee begins to build up the suspense through the chanting included in George's dialogue. The Latin dialect he adapts throughout the act and the various mentions of "morte" (Latin for death) and "Domine" (Latin for God) portray that this really is an exorcism of this demon- the fact that Martha and George cannot have children- that has plagued their marriage for so many years.Furthermore, Albee continues to use George's character as he says that George has "some bad news for [Martha]...for [them], of course." The fact that Albee states that it is bad news for Martha indicates that she is deeply frightened by not being able to have a son- even an imaginary one. This gives further insight as to why the couple's relationship is so damaged and why they feel the need to always create tension among themselves.
your answer gives me life.
Well done. :o)
- *third act. Be careful.
- Remember, "the fact that" is a no-no... Within the dashes, word it as "Martha and George's inability to have children" or "infertility"...
- Don't forget about the audience who views this.
This page is intended to be a resource for our AICE Lit students. Our hope is that it will be a forum to share resources and have discourse pertaining to the research paper and our class readings!