The Portrayal Of The Theatre Of The Absurd Essay example

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The Portrayal of the Theatre of the Absurd Throughout literature, much has been assumed and gathered about the state of man and his purpose in life. Different poets, novelists, and playwrights have employed the powerful tools of language to broadcast their respective statement to the literate world. Many authors stand out for their overly romanticized or horribly pessimistic notations on life, but only Samuel Beckett stands out for his portrayal of absence. As Democritus, a Greek philosopher, noted, "nothing is more real than nothing," a quote which became one of Beckett's favorites and an inspiration for his masterful plays (Hughes 1). Beckett's works have astounded many through their utter divergence from the typical basis of a…show more content…
Beckett purposefully strips the setting of all elements of reality—namely time and definition. In Waiting for Godot, his stage directions simply state, "A country road. A tree. (1)" Such simplicity initially seems to muddy the clarity of the work, causing confusion as to the location and specifics of the characters' plight and conditions. However, as Daryl McDaniel constitutes, bareness of the set only serves to create a "complex fictional and highly theatrical world (McDaniel 1)." As the play goes on, this vague scenario also serves to make the work universal, due to the commonality of such elements in nature. Similarly, although Endgame's plot plays out in a more confined and defined space, a room with two high windows and two ashbins, the surroundings are bleak and undefined. Collectively, Beckett's use of setting defies reality. Jean-Jaques Mayoux elaborates on this point to clarify, "a realistic setting would spoil everything (Mayoux 42)." Beckett's intentional bleaching of the set allows for the perfect portrayal of the world as incomprehensible. The distortion of time serves to enhance the incomprehensibility of Beckett's works. Not only does Beckett fail to specify a time period, the element of time passage becomes unfathomable, implying the same about the world in which we live. Waiting for Godot opens with the
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