Essay Title: 

`Modernist Theatre` and Theatre of the Absurd`.

April 2, 2016 | Author: | Posted in art, theatre




Esslin ‘s `Theatre of the Absurd ‘ 3

Definitions 3

Notions 4

Concepts 6

Theatre of the Absurd ‘ as political theatre 8

Circumstances characterizing Theatre of the Absurd

as political theatre 8

Absurdist playwrights 12


1 . Esslin ‘s `Theatre of the Absurd

a . Definitions

The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all of its meaninglessness ‘ – Martin Esslin

The word absurd ‘ was originally used in a musical [banner_entry_middle]

context and is understood as being out of harmony with reason or propriety . It is used to define that which is incongruous , unreasonable and illogical . In everyday parlance , being absurd would mean being ridiculous (Worthen 1993 . However , this has not been the definition applied for understanding the word absurd ‘ within the context of the Theatre of the Absurd

Martin Esslin , a Hungarian-born critic , extensively studied the post-war theatrical work of Eugene Ionesco , Samuel Beckett , Harold Pinter and other playwrights in the 1950s and 1960s . He gave the name theatre of the absurd ‘ to describe the disorienting quality of their plays (Worthen 1993 Culik 2000 , and used the term as the title of his book on the subject in 1962 . His book , possibly one of the most influential theatrical texts of the 1960s , The Theatre of the Absurd , is currently on its eighth printing and gives definition to the previously misunderstood works of absurdist playwrights (Stanford Magazine n .d

The concept refers to a particular type of play which first became popular during the 1950s and 1960s , and presented on stage the philosophy set forth by the French philosopher , Albert Camus in his 1942 essay , The Myth of Sisyphus ‘ wherein he defines the human condition as basically meaningless (Crabb 2006 ) and absurd . Esslin used to term Theatre of the Absurd ‘ as a device to bring attention to certain fundamental traits discernible in the work of playwrights such as Ionesco , Beckett and Pinter who have loosely been grouped as absurd as they attempt to covey their sense of bewilderment and wonder in an ultimately meaningless universe (Crabb 2006 . These absurd plays by Beckett , Ionesco and Pinter , and other absurdist playwrights , all share the view that man inhabits a universe with which he is out of keys . The meaning of man ‘s existence and human condition in general is indecipherable , and man ‘s place within the world is without purpose leaving him bewildered , troubled , and obscurely threatened (Culik 2000

Ionesco , Beckett , Pinter and other absurdist playwrights shattered dramatic conventions and paid little attention to psychological realism while at the same time highlighting their character ‘s inability to not only understand one another (Esslin 1987 , but the world they live in as well . It is within this framework that the term theatre of the absurd ‘ is meant to be understood

b . Notions

According to Camus , a world that can be explained by reasoning , no matter how faulty the reasoning may be , is a familiar world , yet man can feel detached… [banner_entry_footer]


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