Presentation on theme: "THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD"— Presentation transcript:
1THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD Samuel BeckettTom StoppardAlbert CamusHarold PinterEugène Ionesco
2Albert Camus (The Myth of Sysiphus, 1942) A world that can be explained by reasoning, however faulty, is a familiar world.But in a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and of light people feel strangers. They are irremediable exiles because they are deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as they lack the hope of a promised land to come.This divorce between people and their lives,the actor and his setting, truly constitues the feeling of absurdity.
3Eugene Ionesco(Dans les arms de la ville, an essay on Kafka) Absurd is that which is devoid of purpose…Cut off from his religious , metaphysical & transcendental roots, man is lost, all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless.
4Loss of meaning: the world appears frightening as it is illogical
5Historical & Philosophical Backgound Waning of religious feelingBreakdown of the liberal faith in an inevitable social progress after WW1Relapse into barbarism, mass murder& genocide in the course of hitler’s brief ruleover Europe during WW2
6Disillusionment with the hopes of a radical social revolution as predicted by Marx after Stalin had turned the Soviet Union into a totalitarian tyrannyThe spread of spiritual emptiness in the outwardly prosperous & affluent societies of Western Europe and the USA
7Cultural Roots Mimus()Greek/Latin Drama) Ritual Drama Allegorical & Symbolic Drama (e.g. Morality Plays or autos Sacramental)Dream & Nightmare LiteratureTradition of Fools: Mad scenes in Drama (e.g. Shakespeare’s tragedies)Pantomime & Music HallNonsense poetryCommedia dell’arte
8No CommunicationLoss of Meaning > the language is devoid of meaningWhat happens on the stage transcends and often contradicts the words spoken by the charactersThe characters talk (= use the language )to fill the emptiness between them
9In a universe that seems to be drained of meaning the pompous & laborious attempts at an explanation we call philosophy or politics must appear as empty chatterIn a world that has become absurd the theatre of the absurd is the most accurate reproduction of reality
10Martin Esslin (from Absurd Drama) A well made play.The characters are well observed & convincingly motivatedDialogue is witty & logically built upAn Absurdist PlayThe characters are hardly recognizable human beings, their actions are completely unmotivated.Dialogue seems to have degenerate into meaningless babble
11Beginning-middle-ending clearly recognizable It is primarily concerned to tell a story or elucidate an intellectual problem…It can thus be seen as a narrative or discoursive form of communicationResult :Final MessageDYNAMICIt starts at an arbitrary point & seems to end as arbitrarilyIt is intended to convey a poetic image os a complex pattern of poetic images; it is above all a poetic formIt conveys a central atmosphereSTATIC
12The action goes from point A to point B: we constantly ask ‘What’s going to happen next?’ Conditioned by clear , comforting beliefs, a stable scale of values, an ethical system in full working conditionsAction :gradual unfolding of a complex pattern .We ask ‘What is it that we are seeing?’Absurdist playrights no longer believe in the possibility of of a neat resolution: they express a sense of wonder , incomprehension, despair at the lack of cohesion and meaning they find in the world
13There is no faith in the existence of a rational and well ordered universe Sense of shock at the absense , the loss of any such clear & well defined system of beliefs & valuesPoliticsReligionImplicit belief in the goodness & perfectibility of peopleUnthinking acceptance of the moral & political status quoImplicit idea that the world does make sense, reality is secure , all outlines clear, all ends apparent