Presentation on theme: "THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD"— Presentation transcript:
1 THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD Samuel BeckettTom StoppardAlbert CamusHarold PinterEugène Ionesco
2 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.
3 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.
4 Loss of meaning: the world appears frightening as it is illogical
5 Historical & 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
6 Disillusionment 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
7 Cultural 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
8 No 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
9 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 chatterIn a world that has become absurd the theatre of the absurd is the most accurate reproduction of reality
10 Martin 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
11 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 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
12 The 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
13 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 & 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