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Transcript
Theatre
of
the
Absurd
• Theatre of the
Absurd is an
AVANT-GARDE
style of theatre
• avant-garde =
experimental
art that pushes
the boundaries
of what is
“normal”
ABSURD =
logically
impossible
Hey diddle, diddle
The cat and the fiddle.
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
Oh, how I wish he’d go away.
What influenced
Theatre of the Absurd?
• Dadaism = an avant-garde artistic
movement that protested war and the
“rules” and “traditions” of society
anti-art = everything art was not
“supposed” to be
Theatre of the Absurd = “anti-theatre”!!!
Theatre of the Absurd
• An avant-garde style of theatre based on
the philosophy that life
has no
meaning, so man must find
his own meaning
Theatre of the Absurd
• Began in Paris,
France
• Gained popularity
after WW II (1940s)
Why did it become popular???
the death and destruction of WWII
+
the threat of nuclear warfare
=
Life is meaningless.
Man is helpless.
Man is alone.
A LOT OF QUESTIONS.
What makes it different (avant-garde)???
1. unrealistic situations (i.e. people turning into
rhinos)
2. non-realistic, one-dimensional characters who
do not connect with each other; may become
randomly violent
3. meaningless plots,
often cyclical; no
suspense
4. nonsensical,
repetitive dialogue
5. Unclear setting and
relationships/identities of characters
6. Use of shock to create laughter as an
audience response
23. Typical theatrical
conventions (rules)
do not apply—
everything about it is unrealistic!
The play may appear random and
meaningless,
BUT
there is generally an underlying structure
and meaning—you just have to figure
out what it means to you!!!
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Create a
dream or
nightmare-like
experience for
the audience
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Show man’s isolation by
making audience feel
isolated—they cannot
identify with the
characters or the
situation!
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Keep the audience on their toes—they are
not there for entertainment and escape!!!
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Point out the flaws of “rules” and traditions
of “proper” society
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Use comedy to
point out the
tragedy of life
Goals of Theatre of the Absurd
• Point out the meaninglessness of life—force
audience to make their own meaning
Now for the
daddies of
Absurdist theatre…
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)
• Born in Ireland; lived
in Paris during WW II
• Endgame
• Waiting for Godot
Eugene Ionesco (1909-1994)
• Born in Romania;
lived in France during
WW II
• The Bald Soprano
• The Chairs
• Rhinoceros
THE END.