George is a 46-year-old member of the history department at New Carthage University. Martha is the 52-year-old daughter of the presidente of New Carthage University. They are married. Their marriage, once a loving relationship, became something defined by sarcasm and frequent acrimony. One of the reasons for it is George's aborted academic carrer.
They prefer to project false images of themselves in public situations. However, these images are created not only for their friends or neighbords but for each other as well. Because of George's apparent lack of success at his job (as it was said before), these false images are created to hide this problem. There is the idea of private and public images in marriage. George and Martha are a good example of it.
When the play was published, many americans considered success to be measured by having one own car, house, dog, kids. This concept was spread out and it often hid real problems. In "Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?", Eduard Albee tries to reveal what happens in a marriage that is not public. George and Martha were a loving couple. As time goes by, they become a couple with "games" in which one tries to reduce the other.