2 ABSURDISMA philosophy born out of the existential movement…prompted by writers like Albert Camus. The philosophy is centered on the belief that the life is meaningless and absurd.The aftermath of WWII provided the social environment that stimulated absurdist views and allowed for their popularity, especially in war-torn France.
3 AN EXISTENTIAL CROSSROADS Humans historically attempt to find meaning in the universe, according to Absurdism. This search traditionally follows one of two paths: either concluding that life is meaningless and what we have is the here and now or filling the void with a purpose set forth by some higher power, often a belief in God or adherence to religious precepts. However, even with a spiritual power as the answer to meaning, another question is posed: What is the purpose of God? Soren Kierkegaard, a famous existentialist, believed that there is no human-comprehendable purpose of God, making faith in God absolutely absurd!!!
4 THE ABSURD PATHAbsurdism goes against the human inclination to find meaning in the universe; it claims that the search is in vain…which begs the question: why bother at all?
5 CAMUS SAYS CHECK YO’SELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YO’SELF For some, suicide seems like a solution when confronted with the futility of living a life devoid of purpose, but Camus’s argument in “The Myth of Sisyphus” is to accept the ostensible absurdity of existence and find your own passion and purpose in the midst of apparent meaninglessness.
7 THEATRE OF THE ABSURDThe Theatre of the Absurd, or Theater of the Absurd is a label for plays written by a number of European playwrights in the late 1940s, 50s and 60s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work.The 'Theatre of the Absurd' is thought to have its origins in Dadaism, nonsense poetry, and avant-garde art of the 1910s – 1920s. Despite its critics, this genre of theatre achieved popularity when World War II highlighted the essential precariousness of human life. The "Absurd" or "New Theater" movement was, in its origin, distinctly Paris-based; the movement only gained international prominence over time.
8 THEATRE OF THE ABSURD PLAYWRIGHTS Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Arthur Adamov, Edward Albee and Tom Stoppard.
9 THEATRE OF THE ABSURD CONVENTIONS Ambiguous time, place and identityMeaningless plotsRepetitive or nonsensical dialogueDramatic non-sequiturs used to create dream-like or nightmare-like moods.Absurd Hero (anti-hero)
10 ARE THE PLAYS AS POINTLESS AS THE LIFE THEY ARE PORTRAYING? There is a fine line, however, between the careful and artful use of chaos and non-realistic elements and true, meaningless chaos. While many of the absurdist plays seem to be quite random and meaningless on the surface, an underlying structure and meaning is usually found in the midst of the chaos.
11 WHY WOULD AN ENTIRE TOWN TURN INTO RHINOCEROSES?
12 CONSIDER THESE EXCERPTS FROM IONESCO’S DIARY… In 1940 Eugene Ionesco wrote an entry in his diary discussing the Nazi regime. Excerpt #1:“The police are rhinoceroses. The magistrates are rhinoceroses. You are the only man among the rhinoceroses. The rhinoceroses ask themselves how the world can have been run by men. You ask yourself: is it true the world was once run by men?”
13 DIARY EXCERPT #2He discusses how he watched his once anti-fascist friends slowly become fascists:“I was talking to him. He was still a man. Suddenly under my eyes I saw his skin hardening and thickening fearfully. His gloves, his shoes become hooves; his hands become paws. A horn grows on his forehead, he becomes fierce, he changes furiously. He no longer knows how to talk. He is becoming a rhinoceros. All of a sudden, I wish I could do the same. But me, I can’t.”