The Goat Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

The Goat Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Pritzker Prize

Martin being a Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and chosen as the architect for designing a multi-billion dollar city is an allegory with deeper meaning. The allegory is that Martin is given the keys to design a city, but he himself is breaking the natural design of sexual intimacy by having sex with an animal. Thus, provoking the question from Albee as to how this will effect the design of an entire city.


Ross and his friendship with Martin is an allegory for media in our current society. Ross writes a letter to Stevie in order to tell her of Martin's bestiality, and to protect the television station from Martin's interview airing. We see that Ross is heavily invested in protecting the "news," but where is his protection of his friend, and getting him the help he needs? We see the corrupt nature of the media to hold on to their power of influence at the cost of relationships and judging others if they don't fit the mold they need them to be in.

Who is Sylvia?

The play itself is an allegory for what would occur if someone didn't abide by the taboos created in society. Albee plays out the drama in Martin and Stevie's home, but the implication is that it would have a much wider effect on society.

Stevie and the Goat

Stevie slits the throat of the goat that Martin is in love with. This is a symbol of the fact that she is willing to go to even greater lengths than Martin could have imagined in order to keep her love with her husband.

What not Whom

Martin refers to Sylvia as "her" and "whom" throughout the play, and Stevie despises this, as it is a symbol of him making an animal human. He's taking what is unnatural and making it natural while Stevie is specific to stop this kind of language from becoming normal.

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