Absurdist Theatre Analysis

1670 Words7 Pages
The Theatre of the Absurd began in the early 1950s and was influenced by four major events of that time- World War I, World War II, liberalism and epidemics. The two wars had a deep impact on the European population and they started questioning their values and beliefs about society and soon started opening up to new ideas.
A French writer and Existentialist philosopher named Albert Camus in his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” (1942) came up with the idea the Absurdist theatre and reached the assessment that the lives of the people living in the early 20th century are absurd, devoid of purpose. Though no formal Absurdist movement existed as such but dramatists such as Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett and a few others shared a pessimistic vision
…show more content…
There is little dramatic action as compared to the conventional plays, for example, in Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ a timeless circular plot emerges in which two lost creatures Vladimir and Estragon spend their days waiting for someone without any certainty as to who they are waiting for and whether he or it will come or not.
Ionesco says that "what is sometimes labeled the absurd is only the denunciation of the ridiculous nature of a language which is empty of substance, made up of cliches and slogans ... ."' Such a language has atrophied; it has ceased to be the expression of anything alive or vital and has been degraded into a mere conventional token of human intercourse, a mask for genuine meaning and emotion. That is why so often in the Theatre of the Absurd the dialogue becomes divorced from the real happenings in the play and is even put into direct contradiction with the action. The ridiculous, repetitive and purposeless behavior and language sometimes gives the plays a dazzling comic surface, but there is also an underlying serious message of distress. The purpose is to provoke thought with
Get Access