“Theatre of the absurd”

years after the II world war, we are in the 50s and 60s. A group od playwrights decided to meet in Paris, which became their main meeting point to share new ideas about drama, about modern drama. Drama becomes popular, absolutely new and interesting in these years. A reborn of drama thanks to the theatre of the absurd and some playwrights such as:
  • E. Ionesco
The main representer of the theatre of the absurd. They debate new ideas, trying to establish, to give to the reader new conventions, new ways of doing drama.
Which opinions do they have about life…and how they are affected, influenced by the second world war?
- The experience of the second world war and the negative consequences and aspects related to the second world war-> the oppression, the lack of freedom. According to them in fact, there is also a strong sense of alienation
Man is still alienated even after the second world war, it is much more alienated than before.
The society has become more and more materialistic the before. Too much faith in the progress, in becoming more and more developed, powerful. If you believed in materialistic thing too much, you will be alienated.
The main cause of the alienation of the man is this faith in progress, but also in
Mistrust in religion-> God is absent; so going to the church and praying for the best became useless. The atmosphere is once again pessimistic, even much worse than the one you could find in the Waste Land.

The main conventions

New meaning given to life= life can be seen as a trap because living means living trapped in a life full of limits, where your personal art, your creative skills can’t be expressed. Life will be represented in a very shocking way, through dreams and nightmares-> to make the people think of life as something pessimistic, not realistic anymore. Also a life without actions. If you think of a life where they do something, the move. Living in a trap, action is not present. Some characters never move, they always playing standing on the stage, sometimes even without speaking. Life lacks of actions. The general sense makes a feeling of emptiness, which is much more negative, dangerous than frustration. You don’t see any movement.
The world represented by the theatre is absurd->the world is completely different form the way it was used to be seen before. All values, traditions, thing I used to believed had disappeared. It’ s the meaning of “I can’t believe it”. The world is illogical
Language= it will be new, reduced, very simple, short, not as difficult as Orwell’s one. Taken from every day’s language. It’s the only way to give shape to an illogical world. A great influence by Heidegger.

“Waiting for Godot”

By Samuel Beckett, who is one of the main representative of the playwright, the one who influenced the others. He follows in a very precisi way the conventions of the theatre of the absurd. The play was written around 1952-1953 and it is divided into 2 acts. Not a traditional division, there are no changes, no actions, no new conversations. There will always be a great monotony, a sense of boredom.
In the 1st act, you will see a street (open space) with two people standing together and a barren tree (typical autumn tree)
In the 2nd act, the only different between the 1st and 2nd are some leaves on the tree.

The setting in which you can’t identify anywhere, a set meant to be anonymous as a way to reflect the atmosphere (a dreamlike atmosphere) not realistic, but maybe it comes form a dream or a nightmare. A setting with only two people: Estragon and Vladimir who the will never move from the beginning to the end. They only say that they are waiting for Godon, waiting for someone. They have an appointment with him. Gordon will never arrive, even if they don’t stop waiting for him. In the meantime they talk about nothing.
The theme of waiting stands for the waiting for sth new, for a solution because Godot is seen as the one who comes and changes the situation, but actually he will never arrive. The mane is allusive of God. At the certain part of the play, there is only a description of Godot -> he has a white beard. MAYBE he is seen as God (but never confirmed by the playwright).
The only meaning given to life is the waiting. Waiting is not only waiting for someone, but it’s is the main thing that gives sense to their life.

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