The action takes place in the living room of a middle-aged couple, George and Martha, who have come home from a faculty party drunk and quarrelsome. When Nick, a young biology professor, and his strange wife Honey stop by for a nightcap, they are enlisted as fellow fighters, and the battle begins. A long night of malicious games, insults, humiliations, betrayals, painful confrontations, and savage witticisms ensues. The secrets of both couples are laid bare and illusions are viciously exposed. When, in a climactic moment, George reveals his masterful ability to weave through the vicious assults of the evening and deliver the final crushing blow, George and Martha must finally face the truth and, in a quiet ending to a noisy play, stand together against the world, sharing their sorrow.