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. Now we will explore the world of one of Beckett’s most famous play from the “Theater of the Absurd”, Waiting for Godot.
Knowing no god, Beckett sees life as futile and mocks both life and death in his play. Beckett can arouse emotions from his audience by not arranging his play in an emotional way. Absurdist theater is far from the melodramatic tragedies of stereotypical plays. "Waiting for Godot" is antisocial, devoid of superficial meaning, and empty to its core simply because of its blank, forgetful, and meaningless aspects. Yet beneath this clever camouflage is a depth of depression, sprung from a fountain of godless life and non-communication.
Actually the 'Absurd Theatre' believes that humanity's plight is purposeless in an existence, which is out of harmony with its surroundings. "Waiting for Godot" is an absurd play for not only its plot is loose but its characters are also just mechanical puppets with their incoherent discussion. And above than all, its theme is unexplained. It is an absurd play for it is devoid of characterization and motivation along with the no result. Though characters are present but are not recognizable for whatever they do and whatever they present is purposeless.
The fact that makes the play Waiting for Godot so unique is its absurdity and incongruity to the audience or the readers; it partially displays it absurdity through the uncertainty of the truth told at many instances throughout the play. There is no explicit end to the play, and this leaves the reader and audience spurious towards the end of the play. The scintillate in the play is not only lit up by its absurdity, but the aspect of truth that the playwright addendum to the play. The play can be classified as a vehicle which is driven by lack of truth or in the words of simple reader or the audience the truth in this play is quite uncertain. Being uncertain of the consequences which the character claims so be the reason of why they act in such less meaningful and capricious way.
Albert Camus for instance once said: ‘The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world’ The absurd, is in many ways, the main character of the play providing the endless uncertainty that makes Waiting for Godot so confusing and controversial. Humour might be the only way to deal with the emotional strain of a meaningless and uncertain existence, and it is in the plays humour that the Waiting for Godot’s most interesting literary techniques can be observed. Most notably Samuel Beckett makes use of dark humour, making light of situations that are essentially too sad to be funny, for instance Didi and Gogo’s juvenile and carefree attitude to the possibility of their
Their utter lack of ability to engage in social illusion makes them unbelievable: Claudi... ... middle of paper ... ...e's dead, that things are finally resolved. By showing the deep tangles of illusion that exist in normal social relationships, Shakespeare reminds us of our dependence upon fabrication. He shows us that we both desire to be and have a deep need to deceive ourselves and others. It's why we watch plays and read literature. But Shakespeare also shows us the precarious balance of illusion in our lives and the ease with which we can lose our grip on reality and fiction.
Eliot argued that Hamlet is an artistic failure, due to a basic weakness in the play. It was his contention that a playwright owes a duty to the audience to write dialogue appropriate to characters as they have been developed in the drama. Eliot made the point that in the "Closet Scene," when Hamlet confronts Queen Gertrude, his mother, in her bedchamber, his words demonstrate an animosity and a vindictiveness for which the audience is totally unprepared. Since Eliot's charge against Hamlet is self-evidently valid, actors and directors attempting to stage Shakespeare's tragedy have struggled with the problem Eliot's essay highlighted, both prior to and after its publication. The conventional approach in the 20th century has been to imply, on Hamlet's part, a frustrated, incestuous love for his mother, which may justify the words Hamlet speaks, but for which Shakespeare gives no background whatsoever.
(Holman 2) In the introduction to The Theatre of the Absurd, Martin Esslin provides a comprehensive explanation of "Absurdist" theater. He quotes Albert Camus' jThe Myth of Sisyphus: 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. His is an irremediable exile, because he is deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as he lacks the hope of a promised
“Many relate the play to existentialism…:God is dead, life is absurd, existence precedes essence, ennui is endemic to the human condition…In many ways, such a reading is an evasion of the play’s complexity, a way of putting to rest the uncertainty of one’s response to it” (Collins 33). The reader, like modern man, must not give into “the arrogant presumption of certitude or the debilitating despair of skepticism,” but instead must “live in uncertainty, poised, by the conditions of our humanity and of the world in which we live, between certitude and skepticism, between presumption and despair “(Collins 36). Tragicomedy is life enhancing because it tries to “remind the audience of the real need to face existence ‘knowing the worst,’ which ultimately is liberation, with courage and humility of not taking oneself or one’s own pain too seriously, and to bear all life’s mysteries and uncertainties; and thus to make the most of what we have rather than to hanker after illusory certainties and rewards” (Esslin, Theater 47). “Act II. The next day.
(Beckett 27). Ostensibly, the play is a series of meaningless conversations on subjects of no importance. One wonders, then, if it isn't true that nothing happens in this play and, hence, if the play has my real artistic merit. But something is happening. The characters are struggling to free themselves from a treadmill of an existence in which they are trapped-a struggle that is, perhaps, significantly like our own.