본문 바로가기
  • Home

Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women:A Harmony Between Autobiographical Experiences and Universal Themes

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2013, 26(3), pp.33-60
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Kim In Pyo 1

1공주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women(1991) is based on his autobiographical experiences related mainly to his adoptive mother, Frances Cotter Albee. In the play he reflects his own memories of his mother and himself such as his running away from home due to conflict with his parents in the play. In Act I, three women are called A, B and C. A is 92 years old and out of senility. B is 52 years old and C is 26 years old. B is A’s caretaker and C is a young lawyer. In Act II the three women have become A at different stages in her life. A is a main character as well as a foil for Albee’s mother. What A said is almost factual because Albee put his own memories of his mother into the play. Even though Albee deals with his own experiences in the play, he also pursues universal themes such as ‘death’ and ‘happiness’. He emphasizes that we should recognize that we are dying from the birth and therefore every human is mortal. A is afraid of death and tries to refuse to die in Act I, but she accepts death in Act II. As to the theme of happiness, vitality in life contrasted with barren life is emphasized as an essential part of a happy life. B says that the happiest time is ‘now’ which means that we should realize that the present is the most important time and do our best every moment in our life. However, A says that the happiest moment is the end of our life when we can stop, which means that in the final stage of life we can accept and forgive all things including love and hate for others. Albee tries to harmonize his autobiographical experiences with universal themes in Three Tall Women. He succeeds in making it a creative play of great depth with experimental techniques such as split selves and through a harmony of his own life and universal themes.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.