English Literature- an Episode in the Life of an Author

Topics: Existentialism, Theatre of the Absurd, Albert Camus Pages: 16 (5932 words) Published: March 22, 2013
DRAMA- Absurd Theater

An Episode in the life of an author by P.Baburaj, Senior Lecturer, Dept of English, Sherubtse College, Bhutan

Convention defined by contemporary critic Martin Esslin as “striving to express its sense of senselessness of the rational approach by the open abandonment of the rational devices and discursive thoughts”. Plays in the absurdist tradition attempts to show the irrational and illogical aspects of life through absurd characters, dialogues and situations. The plays of N.F. Simson, Harold Printer, Edward Albee fall within this category, but the form has been most popular in France because of its ties to existentialism and can be seen in the plays of Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Bucket. In Bucket’s waiting for ‘Godot’ two tramps waits interminably and in great uncertainty for someone who never arrives, who may have specify this meeting place and who may never have promised to appear at all. Four pillars of absurd theater. • • • • Irrational Illogical Non sensical Un consequential

Theme of Absurd Theater • • • Meaninglessness Purposelessness Hopelessness

Features of Absurd Theater Characters • Automaton characters(mechanical) Characters mechanical Humorous, witty, cunning And has no proper reason for laughing • Present unemotional action

Play begins arbitrarily Ends arbitrarily No solution Unreasonable to the audience/readers Unreasonable decisions and actions No coherence Any action takes place Every scene takes place in same place Everybody comes to same place • Minimal story line/plot No beginning (introduction) No middle No end No resolution Climax is at the end • No coherence of communication

No complete conflictNo good conversation No proper reason for their conversation • • Explore the existential theory and the causes of alienation Simple setting No interesting setting • Unconventional works No change in characters Same nature of characters Same behaviour

Every characters remain as same till the end of the drama • Play starts at an arbitrary point Begins and end arbitrarily Concerned to present the vision of the present world • Audience are not given the solution to the problem presented

So audiences are unsatisfied. • Highest degree of realism Drama shows the reality • Plays are primarily intended to convey a poetic image or a complex pattern of poetic images it is concerned to convey its central idea or atmosphere so, it is static in nature • • • Closely reflect the preoccupation of contemporary philosophy of language. Combination of no. of ancient traditions of literature and drama. Elements of farce(comical) in utmost care of class 12 by P. Baburaj

Existential theory

A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifference universe.Regardless of human existence as unexplainable and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts. Existentialist believes each persons experience is unique and truly known only by that person. Existentialism A modern philosophy strongly affecting ‘the theater of absurd’ which depicts humanity as insecure in an irrational universe. Jean Paul Sartre’s “no exit” Presents three people locked into a situation from which there is no escape and who eventually realize that “hell is other people.” Existentialism and absurd theater present alienation-The loss of sustaining religious belief. -The sense of anxiety and guilt.

-The growing conviction that life was at bottom meaningless. Central to the existentialism. Critique of the traditional idea that within each individual has an “essence” A universal, defining characteristics that is independent of existence, in place of this conception of humanity as a shared collective essence. The existential formula expressing this conception “existence precedes essence” Individual as estranged from god and needing to make an absurd “leap of faith”-SorenKirkegard.in utmost care of class 12 by P....
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