Beckett is credited for creating “The Theater of The Absurd”. The Theater of The Absurd is a term coined by Matin Esslin, a term first used in his 1962 book of that same title. The basis for this “absurdness” was to show the idea that mans lifetime was in the strictest sense, meaningless and that our universe and creation was inexplicable and any attempt to find meaning was absurd. In the 20th century this idea was present in the productions of modern artist who looked to distance themselves from conventional theater. Of all however, “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett, is the most recognized works in the theater of the absurd. Other artist such as Eugene Onesco and Harold Pinter left a mark in the theater of absurdity. The plays contained no logic, the dialogue was composed of nonsense hard to comprehend and usually irrational characters in ceaseless situations leading back to the same place.
To conclude we say that the whole picture shows a pretty hopelessness. Neither time nor existence, neither reality nor memory or the past have any meaning or significance. Acts are meaningless, time does not flow consecutively, memory seems deceptive, existence is an impression or perhaps a dream and happiness is extremely and affliction is crystal clear through the situation of two tramps. They are on the point of becoming hollow philosophies of existence but demand no other equipment in an audience than the bond of common
It is believed that the Theatre of the Absurd was a reaction to the brutal devastation caused by the modern warfare used in the Second World War. Most of the plots involved in the productions of this theatre style don’t have any connection to the war itself, but rather strive to capture the same feeling that the war caused; hopelessness, emptiness, and the precariousness of life. The Absurdist movement began as an experimental theatre style in Paris. As a result, most of the early Absurdist productions were written entirely in French, even after the theatre style was adopted by other countries. The first wide scale absurdist production was “The Maids” written by Jean Genet in 1947. This play is absurdity at its finest, and follows two maids that are trapped inside a 1940’s mansion while their employer is out of town. “When their employer, only referred to as M...
Theater of the Absurd applies to a group of plays with a certain set of characteristics. These characteristics convey a sense of bewilderment, anxiety, and wonder in the face of an unexplainable feeling. These plays all have unusual actions and are missing a key element that would clearly define other pieces of literature. Language and actions differ from the usual and sometimes cannot be explained in the Theater of the Absurd. In the works of Albee and Ionesco language, behavior, and structure are abnormal if compared to other plays. Language is a key factor that is presented as a weak form of communication throughout “The Future is in Eggs,” “The Zoo Story,” “The American Dream,” and “The Leader.”
The Theater of the Absurd refers to tendencies in dramatic literature that emerged in Paris during the late 1940s and early '50s in the plays of Arthur Adamov, Fernando Arrabal, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, and Jean Tardieu.
Beckett did not view and express the problem of Absurdity in any form of philosophical theory (he never wrote any philosophical essays, as Camus or Sartre did), his expression is exclusively the artistic language of theatre. In this chapter, I analyse the life situation of Beckett's characters finding and pointing at the parallels between the philosophical background of the Absurdity and Beckett's artistic view.
At the centre of the existential angst, dominating the great movements of life, there lays an essential absurdity. England in the aftermath of the two wars inherited this absurdity that upheld the human predicament in a world where “nobody thinks, nobody cares. No beliefs, no convictions and no enthusiasm.” Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus diagnoses humanity’s plight as purposeless in an existence out of harmony with its surroundings. This irrationality and pointlessness of experience is transferred to the stage where by all semblance of logical construction and all intellectually viable argument is abundant. In the same strain, developed the Angry Plays of the Theatre of the Absurd. Beckett, Adamor and Pinter with the difference of attempting
Samuel Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot between October 1948 and January 1949. Since its premiere in January of 1953, it has befuddled and confounded critics and audiences alike. Some find it to be a meandering piece of drivel; others believe it to be genius. Much of the strain between the two sides stems from one simple question. What does this play mean? Even within camps where Waiting for Godot is heralded, the lack of clarity and consensus brings about a tension and discussion that has lasted over sixty years.
If you were to take a snapshot of the early 1900’s, it would be characterized by confusion and depression. After two world wars and the market crash, the chaos sent people into a world full of absurdity and thus the theatre of the absurd was born. The theatre of the absurd represents an artist’s personal vision of the world and describes the human condition by characters who are constantly circling around life’s difficult choices. In Beckets Waiting for Godot, he represents the human condition by demonstrating the uncertainty in religion, the struggle for freedom, and the torment of waiting.
A basic human drive that appears in “Waiting for Godot” includes one of exisiting. After the men wait for Godot, which whom is never going to show up, they go through the same experiences over and over. They ask the same people about the same things and stay in the same spot the entire time. It is giving the readers an example of existence. The men need to discover the meaning of life through their own personal experiences throughout the world instead of waiting around and hoping for answers.
Chekhov is the true precursor of the theater of the absurd. Before the beckettian "waiting" there was the continuous "waiting" of the three sisters who never live for Moscow. Chekhov developed an aesthetic principle, according to which tragic and comic are not separated by an impassable wall but represent two sides of the same phenomenon of life, which can be viewed both in terms of tragedy and in terms of comedy.
“Although works of the theater of the absurd, particularly Beckett’s, are often comical, their underlying premises are wholly serious: the epistemological principle of uncertainty and the inability in the modern age to find a coherent system of meaning, order, or purpose by which to understand our existence and by which to live” (Hutchings 28).
Humans spend their lives searching and creating meaning to their lives, Beckett, however, takes a stand against this way of living in his novel ‘Waiting for Godot’. He questions this ideal of wasting our lives by searching for a reason for our existence when there is not one to find. In his play, he showcases this ideology through a simplistic and absence of setting and repetitious dialogue. Beckett’s ability to use these key features are imperative to his ability of conveying his message of human entrapment and existence.
Irish-born French author Samuel Beckett was well known for his use of literary devices such as black comedy in his various literary works. Written during late 1948 and early 1949 and premiered as a play in 1953 as En attendant Godot, Beckett coupled these devices with minimalism and absurdity in order to create the tragicomedy known to English speakers as Waiting for Godot. True to its title, Waiting for Godot is the tale of a pair of best friends known as Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) who are waiting for the character the audience comes to know as Godot to appear. Throughout Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett alludes to the monotheistic religion of Christianity through symbols, dialogue, and characters to reveal the heavy invisible influence of God in the daily life of man.
We live on a planet revolving around the sun, while there are at least about one septillion other stars in this universe. What is the significance of our existence in this infinite cosmos? What is the purpose of our lives? With the explosion of scientific knowledge and the WWII bombs in the modernity epoch, the insignificance of our lives was realized; Samuel Becket staged the futility of human existence in the play Waiting for Godot. He portrayed nothingness through the use of structure, language, dialogue, and setting. He further demonstrated that the lives of the two characters Vladimir and Estragon takes meaning when they wait for the ambiguous Godot. In order to be relieved from the crippling question of existence, they occupy themselves with meaningless activities. Due to the lack of a plot in Waiting for Godot, one can deduce that perhaps Beckett is referring to the futility of human existence in general.