Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Essays

Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Essays

Length: 810 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus


Albert Camus' essay, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus' is an insightful analysis of the classic work, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus'. In some regards Camus' view of Sisyphus can seem quite accurate and in tune with the original text, but based on Camus' interpretation of the justness of Sisyphus' punishment, it is clear that the writer has some different ideas as well. Camus concludes that this punishment does not have the effect the Gods had intended, and ultimately the tragic hero must be seen as being 'happy'. This is his greatest departure from the intent of the original myth wherein the reader is left with the feeling that Sisyphus' punishment can be seen as appropriate and just.

As his punishment for repeatedly outwitting the Gods, Sisyphus is forced to roll a great rock up a steep hill only to have it roll back down each time he reaches the top, forever condemned to repeat the process over and over again. It is this punishment that Camus is most focused on, as the topic of Sisyphus? trickery only comes up to give the reader some background on the story. It is unusual however that Camus considers this punishment as an, ?unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing?, and at the same time assumes that; ?The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man?s heart.? The gratification that one might find through hard work could certainly be seen as an accomplishment, but it?s hard to see how this pertains to Sisyphus. Camus states that, ?the workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks?, and that his fate is, ?no less absurd.? If a man whistles while performing his laborious job it is only because it is assumed that the fruits...


... middle of paper ...


...l text was meant to represent. Camus states that, ?myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them?, and he surely takes advantage of this. If it is true that Sisyphus truly owns his fate and is the master of his own ?absurd? universe, then that should be seen as his greatest punishment of all, for it does not amount to very much, and as Camus himself pointed out, ?the rock is still rolling.?


Bibliography:

Works Cited



Bierlein, J.F. ?The Myth Of Sisyphus.? Lives Through Literature A Thematic
Anthology (3rd ed.). Helane Levine Keating and Walter Levy. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall, 2001. 1042-43.


Camus, Albert. ?The Myth Of Sisyphus.? Lives Through Literature A Thematic
Anthology (3rd ed.). Helane Levine Keating and Walter Levy. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall, 2001. 1044-46.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus Essay

- In Nichomeachean Ethics, Aristotle attempts to define happiness, which brings forth many other questions that lead to the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life. While all of Aristotle’s ideas are both interesting and important, I’ll only mention those that are relevant to the character analysis. Similar to flow; optimal experience, Aristotle draws a fine line between activities or goals that are either means, ends, or both means and ends while claiming that the ultimate end is that which is the means is an end in itself....   [tags: Nichomeachean Ethics]

Better Essays
1805 words (5.2 pages)

Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Essays

- Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus' essay, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus' is an insightful analysis of the classic work, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus'. In some regards Camus' view of Sisyphus can seem quite accurate and in tune with the original text, but based on Camus' interpretation of the justness of Sisyphus' punishment, it is clear that the writer has some different ideas as well. Camus concludes that this punishment does not have the effect the Gods had intended, and ultimately the tragic hero must be seen as being 'happy'....   [tags: Papers Albert Camus Sisyphus]

Better Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

`` Nostalgia For Unity `` By Albert Camus Essays

- Everyone in the world is wandering around trying to find their place. Where do they fit in, what is their purpose, why are they here. People are always longing for answers, to understand what meaning their life truly has, and to figure out their tie to the universe. It is when people begin looking for one single truth that problems start to happen. Albert Camus believes that there is a conflict between what we want from the universe and what we will actually find in the universe. The “nostalgia for unity” is just people’s urge to be united with a purpose and make sense of the insane world going on around them....   [tags: Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus]

Better Essays
1125 words (3.2 pages)

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

- Meursault is condemned to die by guillotine and Sisyphus is given the burden of having to do an eternity of hard labor, yet in both of these tragic situations they both live without illusions. Thus both men come to light with the realities and truths of their lives and can now be truly happy. In the essay “the Myth of Sisyphus “and the philosophical fiction novel The Stranger by Albert Camus the existentialist idea is that human life is meant to have futile suffering in it and people should not end their lives because of this abyss of pain; but embrace the life that is given, that once the absurdity is identified it is then that one can be elated and content with their lives....   [tags: Absurdism, Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus]

Better Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Albert Camus's Essay: The Myth of Sisyphus

- In the essay The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus attempts to give answers to some tough questions. He wants to know if life is worth living or how we can make it worth living, as well as whether or not it is possible to live with certainty. To him, the absurd man realizes that life is absurd after his expectations are repeatedly contradicted and he realizes the world is an unreasonable place that cannot be explained. These unreasonable expectations of certainty ultimately cause many absurd men to think that life is not worth living when they are faced with what they feel is a hopeless situation....   [tags: existencialism, philosphical analysis]

Better Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

The Relationship Between Environment And Identity Essay

- INTRODUCTION A person’s identity is made from various characteristics that make the person who he is. It is partly constructed from physical characteristics like skin tones, hair color, and body shape. But it is also formed by more abstract ideas like religion, education, family, gender identity, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and personality traits. All of these things amount to an identity. Scholars and philosophers have debated for many years over how much humans have control over their identities and, if they do have any control, how much should they control....   [tags: Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus]

Better Essays
1379 words (3.9 pages)

My Life And Life Span Essay

- Laying down in bed, just before I fall asleep after a very long day, I think to myself, as I am sure everyone does once in a while. Our minds keep us up at night just wondering what we have done wrong, how to fix my past mistakes, and what will become of us in the future, when we are old and wrinkly. In occasion I think about life and when in question about life and meaning I must consider why I am alive. I must consider what it is I am living for, what I want, and what will be my end game. I must think about this because everybody lives and dies, its only nature right....   [tags: Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus]

Better Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)

Analysis Of Meursault 's ' Meursault ' Essay

- At the very beginning to the novel Meursault decides to take a proactive existential approach to life: deny suicide and create his own meaning. Only halfway through the novel Meursault starts to utilize his complete freedom, thus he creates a passion and begins to realize the only pleasures in life he can create are the ones he omits. Camus often talks about freedom being the moment of consciousness but contentness; one becomes free when they accept the absurd and find a passion. Meursault’s friend and neighbour, Raymond, is known as a pimp around the city, and invites Meursault to a friend’s cottage and Raymond as well suggests he bring Marie with him....   [tags: Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus]

Better Essays
1425 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Myth Of Sisyphus

- Camus has argued that the absurd hero sees life as a constant struggle, without hope. Any attempt to deny or avoid the struggle and the hopelessness that define our lives is an attempt to escape from this absurd contradiction. Camus's single requirement for the absurd man is that he live with full awareness of the absurdity of his position. While Sisyphus is pushing his rock up the mountain, there is nothing for him but toil and struggle. But in those moments where Sisyphus descends the mountain free from his burden, he is aware....   [tags: Sisyphus Albert Camus Review]

Free Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about William Camus ' The Stranger And Sisyphus From The Myth Of Sisyphus

- One day, just imagine a person was walking in a city. He then stops and manages to see a hundred dollar bill, across the street. He walks across the street, and even with thousands or even millions of people walking past him, he is stuck in a dilemma whether to pick up the money or not. This little dilemma in his head makes him an “everyman character”, a person who is an ordinary person that represents him in the human race. Even by being an everyman character, a person still has the slightest greed within them that makes them pick up that hundred dollar bill....   [tags: Absurdism, Albert Camus, The Stranger]

Better Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)