Presentation on theme: "THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD Eugène Ionesco Samuel Beckett Harold Pinter Tom Stoppard Albert Camus."— Presentation transcript:
THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD Eugène Ionesco Samuel Beckett Harold Pinter Tom Stoppard Albert Camus
Albert 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.
Eugene 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.
Loss of meaning: the world appears frightening as it is illogical
Historical & Philosophical Backgound Waning of religious feeling Breakdown of the liberal faith in an inevitable social progress after WW1 Relapse into barbarism, mass murder& genocide in the course of hitlers brief ruleover Europe during WW2
Disillusionment with the hopes of a radical social revolution as predicted by Marx after Stalin had turned the Soviet Union into a totalitarian tyranny The spread of spiritual emptiness in the outwardly prosperous & affluent societies of Western Europe and the USA
Cultural Roots Mimus()Greek/Latin Drama) Ritual Drama Allegorical & Symbolic Drama (e.g. Morality Plays or autos Sacramental) Dream & Nightmare Literature Tradition of Fools: Mad scenes in Drama (e.g. Shakespeares tragedies) Pantomime & Music Hall Nonsense poetry Commedia dellarte
No Communication Loss of Meaning > the language is devoid of meaning What happens on the stage transcends and often contradicts the words spoken by the characters The characters talk (= use the language )to fill the emptiness between them
In 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 chatter In a world that has become absurd the theatre of the absurd is the most accurate reproduction of reality
Martin Esslin (from Absurd Drama) A well made play. The characters are well observed & convincingly motivated Dialogue is witty & logically built up An Absurdist Play The characters are hardly recognizable human beings, their actions are completely unmotivated. Dialogue seems to have degenerate into meaningless babble
Beginning-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 communication Result :Final Message DYNAMIC It starts at an arbitrary point & seems to end as arbitrarily It is intended to convey a poetic image os a complex pattern of poetic images; it is above all a poetic form It conveys a central atmosphere STATIC
The action goes from point A to point B: we constantly ask Whats going to happen next? Conditioned by clear, comforting beliefs, a stable scale of values, an ethical system in full working conditions Action :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
Politics Religion Implicit belief in the goodness & perfectibility of people Unthinking acceptance of the moral & political status quo Implicit idea that the world does make sense, reality is secure, all outlines clear, all ends apparent There 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 & values