The Theatre of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett


Download The Theatre of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett


Preview text

The Theatre of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)
Compact Performer - Culture & Literature Marina Spiazzi, Marina Tavella, Margaret Layton © 2015

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
1. The 1950s
ThPiossdt-ewcaardderawmaas characterised by: • The destruction of the certainties and basic assumptions of
the Victorian Age, swept away by two world wars.
• The decline of religious belief.
• The mistrust in rationalism as a means to explain reality.
• the disillusionment with socialist ideals, brought about by totalitarianism
feeling of emptiness, uselessness, anguish
Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
2. Post-war drama
• There were two main trends in 1950s drama:
• The Theatre of the ‘Absurd’  expressed metaphysical anguish, rootlessness, the lack of purpose and inaction.
• The Theatre of ‘Anger’  criticised establishment values.
Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
3. The Theatre of the Absurd: main features
• Absence of a real story or plot. • No action since all actions are insignificant. • Vagueness about time, place and the characters. • The value of language is reduced; in fact, what happens on the
stage transcends, and often contradicts, the words spoken by the characters. • Extensive use of pauses, silences, miming and farcical situations which reflected a sense of anguish. • Incoherent babbling made up the dialogue.
Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSonamatuhealnBSewcikfet tt
4. The Theatre of the Absurd: main themes

Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

• The sense of man’s alienation.
• The cruelty of human life.
• The absence or the futility of objectives.
• The meaninglessness of man’s struggle.

JSonamatuhealnBSewcikfet tt
5. Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

• He was born in Dublin and graduated in French and Italian at Trinity College.

• He moved to Paris and wrote most works in French.

• He started his career writing short stories and novels, but he became famous especially for his plays.

• He develped the «Theatre of the Absurd» together with other dramatists (Adamov, Ionesco).
• His first great success was Waiting for Godot (1952)

• In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for

Literature.

Samuel Beckett.

Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
6. Waiting for Godot
• No Setting: a desolate country road and a bare tree.
• Time: no development in time. There is no past or future, just a repetitive present.
• No plot: meaningless events, the two tramps are waiting for a mysterious Godot, who never turns up.

Waiting for Godot, London, Peter Hall Co. Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

• No characters in the traditional sense (personality).
• No Action
• No dialogue in the traditional sense (no communication)

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
7. Waiting for Godot
• Characters: two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, bored by a day of nothingness; Pozzo and Lucky.
• Theme: the static situation of waiting.
Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
8. Waiting for Godot: characters
• Vladimir and Estragon are complementary: Vladimir is practical, Estragon is a dreamer. Estragon can’t remember anything about his past and Vladimir remembersfor him. They remind each other of their existence
• Lucky and Pozzo are linked by the relationship of master and servant.

• Vladimir and Lucky represent the intellect.

Waiting for Godot, London, Peter Hall Co.

Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

JSoanmautheal nBeScwkiefttt
8. Waiting for Godot: characters
• Estragon and Pozzo stand for the body.
• The two couples are mutually dependent.
• The character the two tramps are waiting for is Godot  Biblical allusion in this name.
Scene from Michael Arabian’s Waiting for Godot, Hall Co. Compact Performer - Culture & Literature

Preparing to load PDF file. please wait...

0 of 0
100%
The Theatre of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett