The Goat Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What is the irony in Martin's rage against Billy being homosexual?

    Billy confesses his love for his father and then kisses him on the lips at the end of the play. Immediately, Martin begins to yell in a furious rage at his son. Ironically, Martin has been committing bestiality with a goat, yet he has no tolerance for his son being gay. Martin cannot see that his actions are what lead his son to his confession as it gave him the courage to speak up about it to his father, and the empathy that Martin has been seeking from Stevie he does not give to his son.

  2. 2

    Why is Martin's profession as an architect important to the story?

    Albee makes Martin an architect, and being one of the great American playwrights he has done this for a specific reason. Martin is breaking natural design by having sex with an animal. Because Martin is an architect he is a designer, an award-winning one at that; thus he is a man that is intimately familiar with what is necessary to create something that is sustainable. So, when he has sex with the goat and declares their love he is going against natural design and attempting to justify a relationship that is not sustainable.

  3. 3

    Why does Stevie make such a big deal of Martin calling the goat, "her?"

    Throughout the play Martin refers to the goat as Sylvia, whom, her. This specific language used by Albee enrages Stevie, his wife to the degree that she cannot hear Martin use these words to describe a goat. These words are being used in a manner that is giving human life to an animal, and that is not going to happen while Stevie is there. She is going to destroy any attempt that Martin makes to humanize an animal.

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