This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Samuel Beckett And The Theatre Of The Absurd

2690 words - 11 pages

To understand Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd we must first go back to Beckett's roots in Irish theatre. It was Martin Esslin who coined the phrase 'The Theatre of the Absurd.' Esslin attributed this form of drama to the moment when 'the certitudes and unshakeable assumptions of former ages have been swept away, that they have been found wanting... The Theatre of the Absurd has renounced arguing about the absurdity of the human condition; it merely presents it in being - that is, in terms of concrete stage images' (Harrington, 2004). It was a revelation in his home country of Ireland that led Beckett to explore this method of drama, a revelation immortalised in his short play, Krapp's ...view middle of the document...

Also writing in French allowed, he said, to write without style. Composition in a second language would serve as a corrective to literary confidence and prevent polished performances of essentially bankrupt eloquence like, he evidently thought, his earlier work (Harrington, 2004). Writing Godot in post-war France must have also influenced his thinking. The initial wave of optimism brought on by the end of the war had turned to the pessimism when the dreadful conditions due to the vast destruction of great swaths of Europe became prevalent, no doubt enforcing Beckett's gloomy and nihilistic outlook.'If a good play must have a cleverly constructed story, these have no story or plot to speak of; if a good play is judged by subtlety of characterisation and motivation, these are often unrecognisable character... almost mechanical puppets; if a good play has to have a fully explained theme, which is neatly exposed and finally solved, these often have neither a beginning nor an end.'' This is how in his book of the same title Martin Ellsin described the Theatre of the Absurd. Waiting for Godot is not merely a part of this theatre, it defines it. It explores the depths of what, up until that point, had been certain assumptions. It swept these away and ushered us from the rational thinking they had dominated Western thought and its theatre up until then. If Descartes steered us into the age of reason, then Beckett could be said to have brought us into the age of uncertainty. By shattering these illusions of certainty Beckett allowed us to question our assumptions and then built upon those foundations, more secure than before. Albert Camus in his work 'The Myth of Sisyphus' wrote '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, man feels a stranger... this divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, truly constitutes the feeling of absurdity'. So how does Beckett portray this feeling of absurdity in Waiting for Godot? The characterisation in Beckett and the mechanics of the stage are key to this.Much has been made of Vladimir and Estragon's relationship but it is in the interaction between Pozzo and Lucky that reveals one of the most interesting aspects of Becketts work; that of the relationship between the mental and physical facets that make up an individual. It is also the one of the most common themes in The Theatre of the Absurd, once stripped of all rational assumptions. Becketts work is infused with this contradiction and balance, the ultimate paradoxical union in man. Pozzo and Lucky represent the relationship between body and mind, the material and spiritual sides of man, with the intellect subordinate to the appetites of the body (Ellsin, 1961). All the characters in Godot are examples of Beckett's anti-hero, which were becoming more and more prevalent, but were never brought to such extremes that Beckett brought them to, so...

Other Essays On Samuel Beckett And The Theatre Of The Absurd

Cigarettes And Their Destruction Of The Brain

697 words - 3 pages Cigarettes and Their Destruction of the BrainSmokers generally feel more comfortable after that especially important first cigarette of the day. Within just a few seconds of 'lighting up,' smoking activates mind-altering changes. Smokers are well aware of the long-term risks of their habit: such as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other deadly illnesses. However, smokers are attracted by the immediate effects of smoking: 'a stimulant

The Meaning Of Training And Development

3965 words - 16 pages , Training and Development (T&D) can be the most important HRM function to treat people well and increase the competitive power for the organizations. Training refers to improving competencies needed today or very soon. In comparison, development refers to activities intended to improve competencies over a long period of time (Jackson & Schuler, 2003, p350-351). Training and development, although different from their focus, are of course

Minorities: Differences of the Past and Present

525 words - 3 pages There is a huge difference in the treatment and problems for blacks and other minorities now than during the first 130 years of our nations history. Affirmative action seems to have gone too far because it seems to be favoring the minorities now so it is kinda like reverse racism. Before blacks and other minorities were the last people to be considered for jobs and for college, now if a minority and a white male with the same intelligence are

Haroun And The Sea Of Stories

1344 words - 6 pages The story is based on the quote, "What's the use of stories that aren't even true?" The use of these stories is to help people get an imagination, and to help people keep their imagination. One question you could ask is, who are fantasy stories mostly told to? They are told to children and babies. This is probably the reason why they have more imagination. Imagine a child without an imagination. Just think what a boring life it would have. The

Frankenstein And The Act Of Paying God

831 words - 4 pages . Throughout the novel a common theme of self-centeredness continually arises. Victor becomes self-centered, thinking he is supreme in the sciences, and that he knows the secrets of life. These thoughts cause terrible events to happen to him and his family. Victor's act of playing the role of god brings him a horrible creation, death of the innocent, and madness of the mind. The first time Victor plays the role of god was the creation of his

God, The Answer Of Life And Death

2001 words - 9 pages Ever since people could imagine, they questioned what is life, what is the meaning of life and what happens after death. Religion is the answer. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are the Western religions, or Abrahamic religions, because they all believe in Abraham, an important prophet in all three faiths. These religions believe in one all-powerful God who created the world.1 There are many Eastern religions, but the main two are Hinduism and

The Causes And Effects Of Drug Selling

680 words - 3 pages Red and Blue lights flashing, a loud siren whaling, people scattering away to get away from the flashing lights, like a dog chasing away a herd of cattle. This is the stereotypical life of a drug dealer. This is what drug dealers so call "work". Work meaning a job where money is made selling drugs to whoever chooses to buy their products. It is hard to differentiate which is worse, the causes or effects of selling drugs.The causes of selling

CONFUCIUS, GANDHI AND THE AESTHETICS OF VIRTUE

462 words - 2 pages CONFUCIUS, GANDHI AND THEAESTHETICS OF VIRTUEI think that in trying to find out whether moral goodness and beauty are in fact always linked, you are trying to answer an unanswerable question. We all have our own opinion on whether moral goodness and beauty are associated together. This is just mine.Personally I don't agree with the fact of moral goodness and beauty being associated together. The way I see it is that when a person is (morally

The Importance Of Formal And Informal Education

457 words - 2 pages Traditionally our schools are responsible for formallyeducating our children and young people, and families andfriends supply the informal portions of their educations.Both of these portions of a child's education are of equalimportance. They both contribute greatly to a child'slearning experience. They affect the way a child thinksand communicates with society."Formal education is the hierarchicallystructured, chronologically graded 'education

Evil And The Confessions Of St. Augustine

947 words - 4 pages Brett WalterHUM 205Paper # 9Evil and theConfessions of St. Augustine:Aurelius Augustine lived from 354 -430 A.D. During his life, Augustine introduced some extremely important philosophical ideas with regards to these concepts of evil. These concepts were introduced in a direct defense of the Christian faith.Prior to St. Augustine's time, many philosophers questioned the picture of evilpainted by the Christians. This picture portrayed evil as a

The Life and Times of Hitler

330 words - 2 pages our teacher wanted it to sound like an obituary, remember -The man, who killed himself on April 30th, 1945, at the age of 56, along with his newlywed wife, Eva Braun, in Berlin, was Adolf Hitler.Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889, in Branua Austria. In 1907, he moved to Vienna, four years after the death of his father. The 4th child of his father's 3rd marriage, Hitler went to Vienna to study art, but was rejected 3 times, and withdrew himself

Similar Papers

The Maya The Culture And The Fall Of The Empire

254 words - 2 pages The classic Maya culture started to decline in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. Most of the cities of the central lowlands had been abandoned. Earthquakes, invasions by outsiders, famine, warfare, and drought have all been suggested as possible causes for the fall of the Mayan civilization. By 900 A.D. almost all of the ceremonial centers had been abandoned. Jungle growth had hid many of the sites from destruction by the Spanish conquistadors. The

Jesus And The Beginning Of Christianity

493 words - 2 pages Without Jesus ever being born there would not have been any Christianity in the world. Jesus was born in Nazarath, Galilee. He was called the divine son of God after he resurrected from the dead. If there wasn't any Christianity, the Roman emperor Constantine might have never seen the Christian symbol that he proclaimed he saw and would have never won the battle. Jesus was the main reason that the people established Christianity. His mission

The Birth And Death Of Stars

1221 words - 5 pages Between the stars, there is a region, called the interstellar medium, which contains huge clouds of gases and solid particles. It is comprised of about 75% hydrogen, 25% helium, and traces of carbon, nitrogen and other elements. The clouds, called nebulae, are cool and relatively dense and are shaped by currents of hot, low-density gases. It is in these nebulae, that certain processes come together to form stars.Stars form when a shock wave

Nietzsce And The Internalization Of Man

565 words - 3 pages In section 16, Nietzsche enlightens us with a provisional statement, and by his own accord a hypothesis concerning the origin of the "bad conscience". In terms that may exemplify a state of disbelief on the reader of the section, he states"It may sound rather strange and needs to be pondered, lived with, and slept on for a long time. I regard bad conscience as the serious illness that man was bound to contract under the stress of the most