The author Virginia Woolf has little to do with the story, except that Martha sings the title to George when she is mad at him in Act I. In fact, Edward Albee got the title from graffiti he saw on a men's room wall. In the drama, George is a professor who married Martha, the college president's daughter, but the two dislike each other. Martha invites another couple, the instructor Nick and his wife Honey, for drinks after a party for her father. All four of them get drunk, and they end up bickering over their flawed marriages: Besides George and Martha's problems, Honey is barren, and Nick married her for her money. This play is really a trilogy, consisting of "Homecoming," "The Hunted," and "The Haunted." Though it is set in post-Civil War New England, O'Neill used Aeschylus's tragedy The Oresteia as the basis for the plot. Lavinia Mannon desires revenge against her mother, Christine, who with the help of her lover Adam Brant has poisoned Lavinia's father Ezra; Lavinia persuades her brother Orin to kill Brant. A distressed Christine commits suicide, and, after Orin and Lavinia flee to the South Seas, Orin cannot stand the guilt and kills himself as well, leaving Lavinia in the house alone. Richard IIII
The quintessential antihero, he describes how his hunchbacked appearance has made him "determined to prove a villain" in a monologue that begins "now is the winter of our discontent / made glorious summer by this son of York." In the aftermath of a Yorkist victory in the Wars of the Roses, he plots against his brothers King Edward IV and George, Duke of Clarence, and causes Edward to imprison Clarence in the Tower of London. Assassins sent by him later kill Clarence, who is drowned in a "malmsey-butt," or cask of wine. He also marries and kills the Lady Anne, and orders the deaths of Edward's children (the "princes in the tower"). Although he becomes king, he soon faces a rebellion led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. On the eve of a battle at Bosworth Field, he is haunted by the ghosts of those he wronged. The battle turns against him (who cries "a horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!"), and Richmond is crowned as King Henry VII of England.
Though Macbeth is the play's protagonist, his pursuit of the Scottish throne is largely driven by his wife's ambition. After three witches predict that Macbeth will be king, she fears that her husband is "too full 'o the milk of human kindness" to commit murder, and bids "spirits" to "unsex" her and imbue her with willpower. She insults Macbeth's masculinity, and urges him to "screw [his] courage to the sticking-place" and kill King Duncan. When Macbeth is unable to frame two grooms for the murder, she does so in his place. Later, she is wracked with guilt for her actions. While sleepwalking, she tries to wash imaginary blood from her hands, and cries "out, damned spot!" In the final act, the news of her death prompts Macbeth to deliver the "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" soliloquy.
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
The "ancient," or standard-bearer, of the general Othello, and is passed over for a promotion to lieutenant in favor of the less-experienced Michael Cassio. In addition, he believes that his wife, Emilia, may have cheated on him with Othello. Consequently, Iago vows revenge. At the start of the play, he and his associate Roderigo alert the Venetian senator Brabantio that Brabantio's daughter, Desdemona, has eloped with Othello. After Desdemona testifies that she married Othello willingly, the Duke of Venice places Othello in charge of defending Cyprus. On the island, he ingratiates himself with Othello, and deceitfully warns the general against the "green-eyed monster" of jealousy. He then places Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's room, causing Othello to believe that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. Once Othello has murdered Desdemona, Emilia exposes his plot. Before killing himself, Othello stabs him, who survives to be arrested by Cassio.
Before the start of the play, he became the ruler of Denmark by pouring poison into the ear of his sleeping brother, King Hamlet. He then married Gertrude, King Hamlet's widow. In the play's first act, Prince Hamlet learns of his uncle's treachery by speaking to King Hamlet's ghost. Hamlet then arranges for a troupe of actors to perform a play titled The Murder of Gonzago, which Hamlet revises to increase the similarities to his father's death. He is disturbed by the performance, and storms out during the murder scene. Later, he prays for forgiveness, causing Hamlet to delay killing him out of fear that his soul would go to heaven. As Hamlet feigns madness, he sends him to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who unknowingly carry a letter calling for Hamlet's execution. After Hamlet escapes and returns to Denmark, he arranges for Hamlet to fight a duel with Laertes, who seeks revenge for the death of his father, Polonius, and sister, Ophelia. Laertes uses a poison-tipped sword, and he prepares a poisoned drink as a back-up. When Laertes falls in combat he reveals the plot, prompting Hamlet to stab him with the poisoned sword, and make him drink from the poisoned cup.