Edward Albee Victory over Criticism

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Edward Albee is one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century; this is an opinion which creates major debates among literature lovers. Many people recognize his name as the writer of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; but if the reader takes a minute to evaluate his canon of writing, there is a splendid volume of work available. Albee faced tremendous obstacles that were not always transparent to all. Edward was at odds with the environment and the expectations of his parents. As his plays were written, he often was at odds with the critics. He compared drama critics to Genghis Khan. A wealthy couple, Reed Albee and his wife Frankie wanted a child to enhance their public image; they adopted Edward when he was eighteen days old. He was the required heir to fulfill their familial expectations. As Edward grew up, he was a child who was not living up to his parent’s ideas of how children should behave. From an outsiders viewpoint, many people thought he should be grateful for all the material things his adopted parents gave him; beneath the public facade love and affection were not to be found in that household. It was frustrating for young Edward. He was a sensitive boy, and the tension in the household influenced him deeply. His Grandmother was a bright spot in his life, she was affectionate to him, and did not judge him. He attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey they dismissed him for poor attendance and grades. His unhappy parents sent him to Valley Forge Military Academy; he remembers it as a reform school. Choate, an exclusive school in Wallingford Connecticut, was the next step in his education. According to Mel Gussow the only reason Choate granted him admission was the result of a letter writte... ... middle of paper ... ...luence on his art. Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for drama, for A Delicate Balance in 1967, Seascape in 1975, and Three Tall Women in 1994. Albee tells people he actually won three and a half Pulitzer Prizes, but Columbia University prevented him from receiving it. In 2012, Albee had heart surgery, when he was interviewed he had this response: “Edward, you need open-heart surgery. When they rip your chest open and do all sorts of silly stuff to it. And my reaction to that was, What will happen if I don’t? You’ll probably die in a year. Oh. Then I guess there’s no choice. ” (Green) The surgery went well and he is recovering and planning his next play. There is a possibility it may be based on the loss of his partner. They had been together 35 years. In the mean time he is reviving some of his previous works, and overseeing new stage productions.

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