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The theatre of the Absurd


In the 1950's drama was the most innovative cultural expression.Samuel Beckett is considered the last modernist author. His novels and plays show a tragicomic outlook of human life and his masterpiece, the play Waiting for Godot, is one of the most representative works of the so called Theatre of the Absurd. This is a kind of drama that attempts to portray and analyze the essential question of the meaning of life in a period when religious explanations have ceased to be reasonable and valid. Playwrights commonly associated with the Theatre of the Absurd include Ionesco,Harold Pinter,Luigi Pirandello and Samuel Beckett. Characters in Absurdist plays react to a world apparently without meaning,where they appear as puppets controlled or threatened by invisible outside forces. Beckett's characters are literally crippled, mute, blind, deaf or insane.

To emphasize the absurdity of the characters' conditions,the plot is reduced to repetitive situations and language is also reduced to minimal levels of simplicity and filled with puns and statements not connected in a logical way to anything said before.The characters' absurd behavior and talk give the plays a comic tone ,which is the result of the comic tradition drawn from mime, the commedia dell'arte(so called) and the music hall.

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