Differences and similarities between Beckett and Pirandello
Pirandello and Beckett influenced each other. Their theatre is not a theatre of ideas, but rather of symbols, of actions without meaning and of representation of the human condition. The main link between "Six Characters in Search of an Author" by Pirandello and "Waiting for Godot" by Beckett is the absurdity of human existence. There are similarities in the two comedies from the point of view of the concept of theatre. Both represent a break with the traditional theatre as spectacle. Emerges the concept of "meta-theatre", that is, bring the life on the scene with the use of the truth. The stage, for example, has some changes: the spectators look at an empty stage. Six Characters begins in "medias res", as in Joyce. This has the effect of confusing the viewer by highlighting one of the main themes of the author: fiction versus reality. The breaking of the scenic illusion enables that every man can become an artist and life can become art. The existence, reduced to gesture, becomes a pain without reason or justification.
Characters can't stand their lives anymore: memories of order, of purpose, of happiness, of religious belief give meaning to their life. The fact that Vladimir and Estragon are tramps is significant: tramps have nothing. At the same time Six Characters is a representation of events already passed. There is no narration in the traditional sense. The facts are presented by interior feelings. The six characters find themselves in limbo. They are forced to recall their tragedy, which it's not life. Pirandello's characters still have a desire: they want to become immortal through Art. Beckett's characters have no desires anymore.
At first glance Beckett's characters may be considered as comics but when they realizes how terrible their situation is, their comic spirit turns into humor according to Pirandello's definition. Unlike Pirandello, Beckett's characters are already symbols. Waiting for Godot has many elements already present in Six Characters in Search of an Author. Both authors are already innovators of the stage and they present the spectacle of the theatre within the theatre. In addition, the silence that we find in the Beckett's play also reflected the anguish of Pascal, man without God. Beckett creates a new language for the theatre. He uses a language of signs and the dramatic silence enables to discovery the depths of the human soul. Beckett shows how absurd life is in a stronger way than Pirandello.
The linear dramatic scheme of traditional theatre is replaced by a circular pattern that repeats for demonstrate the futility of waiting. In Beckett we find also the link to the "habit", which is the concept of the "mask" in Pirandello. The absence of speech introduces the idea that what is "unspoken", "unsaid" is more important than words themselves. Both Beckett and Pirandello were interested in human condition. Therefore, the innovation center of Beckett is the complete elimination of the plot and in the definition of characters. Pirandello's characters live in a limbo between existence and non-existence, characterized by a desire of life.