The stars of Edward Albee's 1962 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The couple was played by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the famous film version of the play.

George is a 46-year old History professor at a University in the Eastern United States. At times he plays the hen-pecked husband - "poor Georgie-Porgie, put-upon pie" - and at times he gives as good as he gets. His wife calls him an "old bog in the History department", and this is what he symbolises in the play: the past, the old ways.

Martha, on the other hand, is aggressive in the extreme. The following description of her, which her husband gives us, is the definitive one:

"heave and pant and come running at me, your melons bobbling...with the gin running out of your mouth."

Martha is a nymphomaniac and a dipsomaniac, not unlike Blanche Dubois. She too longs for someone to "hold (her) hand when it's dark and (she's) afraid of the bogey man".

The couple have one thing which binds them. They have created for themselves a "blonde-eyed, blue-haired son". This imaginary all-American boy tells us a lot about Albee's view of 1960s America. It was a place where nobody could fulfil the American Dream - only in illusions.

George and Martha spend most of their time together "exercising". This means insulting eachother and trying to "get at" eachother. A list of the insults they throw at one another (by no means comprehensive):

"I swear...if you existed, I'd divorce you" (Martha)
"Some sub-human monster" (George)
"SCREW YOU!" (Martha)
"Georgie-boy" (Martha)
"Swampy" (Martha)
"I'LL KILL YOU!" (George)
"you're a monster" (George)
"You aren't man enough" (Martha)

Thanks once again to Peter Cash for developing my ideas

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