Albee and the Theatre of Loss: Suicide as a Tool for Survival in The Zoo Story of Edward Albee
Edward Albee appeared in the American Theatre in 1959 and depicted the theme of loss and human depression. He used suicide as a tool to dramatize the metaphysical theme of human despair. Albee appeared at a time when both Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller had already passed their zenith. He published his first play The Zoo Story in 1958 and since then he dazzled the audience winning his third Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for Three Tall Women. In 2000, he won the Tony Award for his play The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? Albee’s career has spanned almost half a century and it has seen many ups and downs in terms of quality. Albee’s appearance proved very lucky for the American theatre since he appeared at a time when America was desperately looking for a new playwright. As C. W. E Bigsby observes, “If Edward Albee had not existed, he would most certainly have been invented” (Bigsby 249). When he emerged in 1959, the theatre was in its usual state of crisis but it was a crisis which seemed more serious and more irremediable than usual. There was a crisis which went much deeper than the apparent decline or actual disappearance of the major dramatists of the previous period. Albee seized the occasion and became the American playwright of the 1960’s. Albee successfully blended the realistic with the surrealistic. Albee’s The Zoo Story appeared in New York on January 14, 1960.
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