Mark Esslin's Theatre of the Absurd: Camus and his Debasement of Language

Mark Esslin's Theatre of the Absurd: Camus and his Debasement of Language

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In 1962, writer Mark Esslin took pleasure in composing the novel Theatre of the Absurd and quickly became a major influence on the works of many inspired writers. Esslin subsequently made ensuing plays and stories which focused on nonspecific existentialist concepts and which did not remain consistent with his ideas, rejecting the “narrative continuity and the rigidity of logic.” As a result, the protagonist of these stories is often not capable of containing himself within his or her disorderly society (“Theatre”). Writer Albert Camus made such an interpretation of the “Absurd” by altering the idea into his view of believing it is the rudimentary absence of “reasonableness” and consistency in the human personality. Not only does Camus attempt to display the absurd through studied deformities and established arrangements; he also “undermines the ordinary expectations of continuity and rationality” (“The Theatre”). Camus envisions life in his works, The Stranger and “The Myth of Sisyphus,” as having no time frame or significance, and the toiling endeavor to find such significance where it does not exist is what Camus believes to be the absurd (“Albert”).
The Stranger, written in 1942, is a story about a man named Maursault, who is one day presented with a telegram telling about the passing of his mother in a home for the elderly. Meursault shows no sign of sorrow for his mother at the funeral and soon meets a girl named Marie, who often swims with him. The following summer, Meursault helps his friend Raymond with a rape trial, kills an Arab, and spends the rest of the time fighting in court to avoid being executed by the guillotine. Meursault goes through much trouble finding his place in society, as is like him at all (S...


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...ource Center. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. 24 Feb. 2009 .
"SparkNotes: The Stranger: Themes, Motifs & Symbols." SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. 2009. 23 Feb. 2009 .
"The Myth of Sysiphus." Redirect. 24 Feb. 2009 .
"Theatre of the Absurd." Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - Home Page. 22 Feb. 2009 .
"The Theatre of the Absurd." TheatreHistory.com. 23 Feb. 2009 .

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