Monty Python is the name of a six comedian team, five British, and one American, to
create comedy sketches and movies which explored the realms of silliness and rudeness. Works
by the pythons included such movies as Monty python and the holy grail, Monty python and the
life of Brian, and Monty python and the Meaning of Life. They produced a television series titled
Monty Python's flying circus which aired on the BBC. And later aired on PBS. Absurdism is a
literary movement that ignores theatrical conventions and thwarts audience expectations. It is
characterized by unrealistic characters and situations, unconventional style, and having elements
of senselessness of life and death. Monty Python conforms to the definition of life and death.
Absurdism is characterized by a departure form realistic characters and situations. Often the
characters and situations involved are completely outside the realm of rational motivation. They
have no clear notion of time or place, and may appear to the audience as completely non-sensical.
(Absurdism 1), abandon traditional elements of literature in order to convey a sense of absurdity
and illogic in both form and content. Common absurdist themes include the idea that individuals
are powerless to direct their own lives. (Absurdism 7) The futility of all human endeavor,
loneliness and isolation. (Absurdism 1) Absurdist work often highlights the failure of individuals
to connect with each other in any meaningful way. (Absurdism 8). The senselessness of life and
death is also important to the definition of absurdism. The work of Monty Python conforms to
the definition of absurdism.
Absurdism in Monty Python is evident in Monty pythons departure form realistic characters and situations. (Absurdism 1) Examples of characters who depart form rational
motivation in Monty python are Stan, are ineffectual revolutionary leader who wants to be known
as Loretta, and ultra-right-wing prisoner named ben who loved his captor with a vengeance, and
Pontius Pilate who speech impediment completely negates his authority among the masses.
(Morgan 225) The Nights who say "Ni" are a group who use the words "Ni' To attack and
demand sacrificers of little or no value to them, such as moderately priced shrubberies, from
travelers to pass. (Ni 1). These nights have no motivations to obtain shrubberies and yet they do
so using force. Another sketch in Monty python ha a man who admits to having three buttocks
and is appearing on a televison show. When the hosts asks him to pull down his trousers he
refuses. Realistically one whom chooses to admit such a condition would be comfortable in
proving that condition which is why this character is unrealistic. (Buttocks 1) Monty Pythons
life of Brian tells the story of Brian, a completely normal person, who throughout his life is
mistaken as the messiah. Although he tries to rid himself of his followers he gains the attention
of the upper class and is crucified. While Brian is a completely normal character the situation
around him is irrational and unrealistic. (Morgan 224) There are other examples of irrational
and unrealistic situations including Adolf Hitler standing for parliament in a post WWII England.
(Morgan 42) A depiction of live organ donations, and a dinner party where death crashes the
party. These situations could not or would not happen rationally or realistically but are abundant
in Monty python exhibiting Monty Pythons connection to absurdism.
Absurdism in Monty Python is also evident by its unconventional style which serves to
thwart audience expectations. Absurdism abandon the traditional elements of literature in order
to convey to the audience an distinct sense of absurdity and illogic in both from and content.
(Absurdism 9) Monty Pythons Flying circus, debuting in 1969 followed no set...
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