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Nietzschean Self-conquest Through the Affirmation of Life in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2019, 32(1), pp.35-62
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Published : April 30, 2019

Kwak Jin-A 1

1강원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the existentialist philosophy represented in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women in the light of Nietzschean philosophy. For Albee, death is an inevitable part of life and an existential limitation that humans cannot escape from. Although death is a extreme pain, a finite of life makes one able to embrace every moment of life. Nietzsche hopes that one achieves the self-conquest by generating energy to recover in every moment even though it is full of the pain of life. Albee sets the opening act realistically, Act 2 contains innovative and improbable elements to attenuate the realistic effects of Act 1. In Act 1, Albee portrays A who slips in and out of coherency, resists loss of memory. Whenever she perceives death, she recalls the past. Since the past gives her the illusion of avoiding death, she struggles to remember all the events of her past and at the same time she is frightened when her memory eludes her. Act I depicts a woman who is enveloped by fear of death. In Act 2, there are three women who belong to different ages Unlike the previous Act, A is considered a heroic figure of Nietzsche, Übermench. She wholeheartedly faces up to her life with a mixture of pain, pleasure, regret, and unsatisfaction when she meets the moment of death. A comes to complete existential maturity by embracing her fate that is riddled with adversity.

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