Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Skilled with Words, for Better or Worse: An Assessment of George's Character 11th Grade

“Of the four characters in the play, George is the character most adept at ‘doing things with words’” How far do you agree with this statement?

The phrase, ‘doing things with words,’ can be interpreted in different ways; one effective way to interpret it would be as these of language to manipulate people and changing the flow of dialogue or action. In this sense, George is clearly very skilled linguistically as we see him achieve this at different points in the play. This does not mean however, that George is more adept at this skill than the other characters of the play, with Martha and Nick being his key rivals in this competition. In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee’s characters frequently show that they are capable of manipulating each other and the mood or tone of the room by the use of their language. As all three acts of the play taken together effectively demonstrate, George is the most capable in this respect.

In the first Act, ‘Fun and Games,’ we are initially introduced to George and Martha, with Martha doing the majority of the talking and shouting, seemingly to no avail in terms of a response from George. This shows that while Martha may use words frequently, she is not necessarily always skilled in...

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