The current movement of absurdism, however, emerged in France after World War II, as a rebellion against the traditional values and beliefs of Western culture and literature. It began with the existentialist writers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and eventually included other writers such as Eugene Ionesco, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Edward Albee, and Harold Pinter, to name a few. Its rules are fairly simple: 1.) There is often no real story line; instead there is a series of "free floating images" which influence the way in which an audience interprets a play. 2.) There is a focus on the incomprehensibility of the world, or an attempt to rationalize an irrational, disorderly world. 3.) Language acts as a barrier to communication, which in turn isolates the individual even more, thus making speech almost futile. In other words, absurdist drama creates an environment where people are isolated, clown-like characters blundering their way through life because they don't know what else to do. Oftentimes, characters stay together simply because they are afraid to be alone in such an incomprehensible world. Despite this negativity, however, absurdism is not completely nihilistic. Martin Esslin explains: the recognition that there is no simple explanation for all the mysteries of the world, that all previous systems have been oversimplified and therefore bound to fail, will appear to be a source of despair only to those who still feel that such a simplified system can provide an answer. The moment we realize that we may have to live without any final truths the situation changes; we may have to readjust ourselves to living with less exulted aims and by doing so become more humble, more receptive, less exposed to violent disappointments and crises of conscious - and therefore in the last resort happier and better adjusted people, simply because we then live in closer accord with reality. (Kepos 384) Therefore, the goal of absurdist drama is not solely to depress audiences with negativity, but an attempt to bring them closer to reality and help them understand their own "meaning" in life, whatever that may be. Samuel Beckett's understanding of this philosophy best characterizes how we should perceive our existence as he says, "Nothing is more real than Nothing."
Parallel existentialism and illusion vs reality in the real inspector hound...by i-mei In a universe suddenly deprived of illusions and of light, man feels a stranger.His is an irremediable exile…this divorce between man and his life,the actor and his setting,truly constitutes the feeling of absurdity…(Camus…myth of Sisyphus)…
The dichotomy between illusion and reality and the collapse of an imagined security of man’s reality is explored in a rather roundabout manner in the real inspector hound.Stoppard’s genius is evident in the way he rigs a structural farce rather intricate in design while avoiding the necessity for a truly substantial plot.It is perhaps the continual sway from a conventional plot and the blurring of distinction between the stageplay and the reader’s audience world that constitutes the actual plot of hound.
From the beginning,we are introduced to a situation where there are two separate planes of existence,one being the audience which the two critics,”Moon” and “Birdboot” are a part of , and the world onstage revolving around Muldoon Manor.Stoppard evidently sets the demarcations between these separate realms as depicted by the incessant flow of chatter between Birdboot and Moon that do not interfere with the conversations and exchanges onstage in the initial stage.
For Moon and Birdboot,their conversation is within their reality and what goes on onstage is illusion.For the characters onstage,Mrs, Drudge , Cynthia , Simon , Felicity, Magnus and Hound; their ongoings in Muldoon manor is their reality though it is the audience’s illusion.Parallel existentialism can only be defined present in this play if the two planes of...
Bibliography: The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, directed by Charlie Todd. Dec. 1 - 5, 2000. Kenan Theatre. back to 2000 - 2001
BIRDBOOT AND MOON
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