Albee and Williams' Use of Virility in Their Plays Essay

Albee and Williams' Use of Virility in Their Plays Essay

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The sexual dominance of male characters over their female counterparts in the plays establishes their superiority and control. Both playwrights suggest that a degree of personal status is acquired by sexually dominate women. The rape scene shows Stanley’s use of power sexually through rage and strength, used to illustrate his final defeat of Blanche and establish himself as ‘King’ of his territory, ‘limited to expressing basic desire’ . ‘Since earliest manhood… his life has been pleasure with women... giving and taking of it... with power and pride’. It is a power he can achieve over women that they cannot over him. ‘Let’s have some rough house! [He springs towards her, overturning the table. She cries out... he picks up her inert figure… carries her to the bed]’. The use of stage directions portrays Blanche’s passivity, and gives the audience a better understanding of how the event empowers Stanley; also the enjambment, ‘Don’t you come towards me another step or I’ll-‘, intensifies Blanche’s lack of power comparatively with Stanley’s. Similarly Albee shows men’s power through the ability to overpower; George asserts ‘I’d take you by force, right here on the living room rug.’ It is telling that at the end of the play he takes her to bed, after destroying her illusion. Albee also uses sexuality as a tool for battle, Martha says ‘I was necking with one of the guests’ in an attempt to antagonise her husband; his nonchalant response undermines her quest for power, ‘... Good... Good you go right on’.
Women show a submission to the power of men, even Blanche admits that maybe Stanley is what they need to ‘Mix with [their] blood’, whereas she treats Mitch with contempt, rolling her eyeballs when he can’t see and ridiculing him in ...


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