A Delicate Balance: A Play Essay

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One of the consummate strengths of A Delicate Balance is its universality. It speaks not only to its time, but out of it. Every year is a plague year somewhere, and no one is immune. As Hamm remarks in Endgame (a play with which A Delicate Balance has close affinities): ". . . you're on earth, there's no cure for that!" A major technique Albee employs to create this universality is characterization. This is partially achieved by the resonances, associations, and echoes the names of the characters have with life external to the play which fixes it in an historical—and literary—continuum. It is also partially achieved by the permutations of the characters themselves.

Just as Albee clues us in to the significance of names through Claire, so he clues us in to the significance of permutations by describing Harry and Edna as "very much like Agnes...

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This section contains 757 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Delicate Balance: A Play Study Guide
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A Delicate Balance: A Play from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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