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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


by Edward Albee

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.

Quote #1

Martha: Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf…
Honey: Oh, wasn't that funny? That was so funny (1.209-1.210)

It seems fitting that the title references the punch-line of a joke that we never get to hear. From an absurdist viewpoint, life is pretty much the same thing: unknowable and ridiculous. (For more on absurdism and the title, check out "What's Up with the Title?")

Quote #2

George: Martha is a hundred and twenty-five…year old. She weighs somewhat more than that. How old is your wife?
Nick: She's twenty six.
George: Martha is a remarkable woman. I would imagine she weighs around a hundred and ten.
Nick:: Your…wife…weighs…?
George: No, no, my boy. Yours! Your wife. My wife is Martha.. (1.311-1.315)

This sort of identity confusion is common in absurdist plays. If nothing means anything, than who are any of us to say who anybody is?

Quote #3

George: History […] will lose its glorious variety and unpredictability[…]the surprise, the multiplexity, the seachanging rhythm (1.600)

George seems to honor and find beauty in seemingly unknowable procession of time. Here we see him celebrate the absurd condition.

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