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Absurdism a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "Absurdism a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict."— Presentation transcript:

1 absurdism a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe — compare existentialism existentialism

2 Absurdism is like a Ferris Wheel.  The particpants are trapped in a revoling circle that does not let them evolve into a better person.

3 Absurdism was born from Existentialism.  During 1950’s post war Europe, Existentialism was alive.  Its foundation pushed playwrights and actors to form Avant Garde [radical] Theatre productions.  During this time plays were written that went beyond Avant Garde and didn’t fit into any specific genre.

4 Martin Esslin defined Theatre of Absurd in 1961 as theatre that  “Strives to express its sense of the senselessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of the rational approach by the open abandonment of rational devices and discursive [rambling] thought."

5 There are only five designated Theatre of the Absurd Playwrights:  Samuel Beckett of Ireland, the most well-known  Eugene Ionesco of Romania and France  Jean Genet of France  Arthur Adamov of Russia  Harold Pinter of England

6 Absurdist Themes  People wanted to find meaning within life, since the war had ended.  With all of the horrors they had seen, the Absurdist writing became relentless and bitter.

7 Theatre of the Absurd Elements: The Big 6  Departs from realistic characters and situations.  Plots are often meaningless.  Time, place and identity are unclear or confusing.  There is confusing and repetitive language. of language. Dream/ nightmare like moods are created. While things may seem meaningless in the play, there is a hidden meaning in all

8 Absurdist Theatre…  The experience of the world is never debated, it is simply presented, shown in action.  It satirizes a society that is petty and dishonest.  The setting is abstract. It is based on what is going on in the characters’ heads.

9 Absurdist Theatre:  It lacks a clear division between fantasy and fact.  It disrespects time. Time seems to expand, contract and flipflop as it pleases.  Language may be repetative and unusual, but it is the characters defense against the world.

10 Absurdist Theatre:  It often breaks down the fourth wall (the actors will interact with the audience).  It often contains Black Comedy.  It uses silence as a metaphor.  It uses ambiguity.  It explores violence.

11 Samuel Beckett

12 Samuel Beckett April 12 th (or 13 th ),  Born in Ireland  Enjoyed writing, sports and languages as a child  Received a degree from Trinity College in London  Moved to France to write and study

13 After college  Beckett left Trinity because he was verbally attacked because of his writing.  Made a living by writing, translating (because he was fluent in many languages) and returned home.  Eventually joined the French resistence and moved to the hills where he surrived by farming.

14 His Mental Health…  Although an active kid, he was quoted saying,"I had little talent for happiness“.  His depression lasted into adulthood.  He refused friendships and had a hard time talking without drinking.  Women were interested in him but he stated that he was ‘dead’ and had no feelings that were human.

15 "Je ne sais pas, Monsieur"  While walking through Paris, Beckett was stabbed.  After recovering from his ‘deflated’ lung, he visited his attacker in jail.  When asked why he stabbed him, the inmate responded with, "Je ne sais pas, Monsieur“.  This became a major influence for Beckett’s furture works.


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