Theatre of the Absurd and Samuel Beckett

1975 Words8 Pages
The world War II had pressed hard ‘The Absurdists’ as well as the ‘Existential philosophers’. They both got disillusioned and came to realize the emptiness of the human world. In retaliation to Ionesco’s criticism, Sartre criticized his ideas that he had put in his book ‘Rhinoceros’. According to Rosette C. Lamont, “Sartre’s criticism highlights a primary difference between the Theatre of the Absurd and Existentialism. The Theatre of the absurd shows the failure of man without recommending a solution” 10. Ionesco felt that Sartre and Camus thought out the themes which they did not express in a far more vital contemporary fashion. He said in an interview with Claude Bonnefoy, “ I have the feeling that these writers---- who are serious and important – were talking of absurdity and death, but they never really lived these themes ….. that all this was not deeply inscribed in their language. With them it was still rhetoric, eloquence; with Arthur Adamov and Beckett it really is a very naked reality that is conveyed through the apparent dislocation of language11. Beckett’s own relationship with Sartre was complicated and ‘he generally found the writing style of Sartre and Heidigger to be too philosophical and he considered himself ‘not a philoshpher’’ 12. However, it is safe to say that the war-weary world had shaken the nerves of all thinking men, whether ‘Absurdists’ or ‘Sartre- minded philosophers’ and everyone gave expression to his feelings as per his own bent of mind either using philosophical expressions or simply ‘absurd’ outbursts. The Existentialism and ‘Absurdism got so mixed up that it was difficult for great critics even to distinguish and disentangle one from the other. The ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ movement was original...

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... by M.H. Abrams and G.G. Harpham.

3. ------ ibid ------

4. ------ ibid ------

5. Samuel Backett : Endgame, Grove Press 1958.

6. Kennth Tynan.

7. A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams and G.G. Harpham.

8. ------ ibid ------

9. Eugene Inonesco : Pressent Past, Past Present, Da Capo Press 1998.

10. Rossete C. Lamont. Ionesco's Imperatives : The Politics of Culture. University of Michigan Press, 1993.

11. Claude Bonnefoy : Conversations with Eugene Ionesco. Trans : Jan Dawson Holt. Rinehard and Winston 1971.

12. Authony Cronin, Issac Cronin : Samuel Beckett: The last modernist Da Capo Press 1988.

13. Martin Esslin : The Theatre of the Absurd, MYT Press 1960.

14. ------ ibid ------

15. J.L. Styan : Modern Drama in Theory and Practice Cambridge University Press 1983.

16. Waiting for Godot : A Faber Paperback Page 80.

17. ------ ibid ------ Page 89.
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