Edward Albee American Literature Analysis
Albee is one of the most discussed and analyzed playwrights of American theater. Many books, countless reviews, and hundreds of articles have been published examining the artist and his plays. Most critics agree that Albee is an important writer whose recurring themes include the condemnation of cruelty, emasculation, social complacency, and vacuity. His characters appear to wallow in their own fantasies; the plays exhibit a pervading and overwhelming sense of loss, probably triggered by his own disturbed childhood. Albee is concerned with the illusions that keep people from seeing reality. He believes that he lives in a time when religious, moral, political, and social structures have collapsed. The dramatist is also preoccupied with the fear of death—a continuing motif since his first play. Albee’s plays do not end happily, but he never strains to make them tragic.
Albee has a love-hate relationship with his critics, submitting to numerous interviews in which he proceeds to give cryptic answers. He is alternately praised for his consummate craftsmanship, intelligence, and sensitivity and criticized for his clumsiness, dim-witted mentality, or crassness. Albee looks with scorn at attempts to analyze him or his work. He consistently reads all material written about him but derisively views it as well-meaning fiction. Probed about his own artistic credo, Albee is usually coy, but he has written that “the health of a nation, a society, can be...
(The entire section is 4910 words.)
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