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Word Count: 752
Edward Albees play Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a drama exploring the anxieties of modern life By personalizing aspects of the epic Albee has inverted many of its features to create satire This internalization pits individuals against each other and themselves M H Abramss definition of epic in his book A Glossary of Literary Terms is used comparatively to demonstrate how Albee achieves satire Abramss first definition of epic is the closest to which Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf adhere- it is about a serious subject The seriousness of the play is developed through its language which is not elevated or formal as in a traditional epic rather it is crude and intoxicated When Nick and Honey arrive at George and Marthas place they are sober and speak formally Any hesitation they have comes from the unusual situation they find themselves in As they drink Nick and Honeys involvement in the conversation becomes more fluid and the remarks become more poignant This in turn increases the intensity of the insults between George and Martha For them prodding is a game of one-upmanship with words their only weapon As the play progresses the implications of this become increasingly serious In an epic Abrams explains that the fate of a tribe a nation or the human race lies in the out come of the heros battle The battle between George and Martha only affects their relationship and on this night spills into the lives of Nick and Honey Drunkenness exaggerates their actions so that the extremes of the situation are explored This allows the reader to experience feelings which may be outside their own experience George and Martha continually try to gain the upper hand in the relationship by degrading each other This degradation is an fact a type of self loathing For George it seems particularly acute He can not come to terms with his past both because he is not able rid
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