Theatre of the Absurd

4 April 2015
A study of four works by “Theatre of the Absurd” playwrights.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss Absurdist (Existential) theatre and four works by “Theatre of the Absurd” playwrights. The works used are “Victoria Station” by Harold Pinter, “The Zoo Story” by Edward Albee, “The Philadelphia” by David Ives and “Sure Thing,” by David Ives. Specifically, it discusses hopelessness and meaningless as a base plot for the “Theatre of the Absurd” and how these two concepts reveal themselves in the works.
“All four of these plays are by authors considered to write for the “Theatre of the Absurd” movement, which began in the late 50s. It is a movement concerned with the absurdity and absolute pointlessness of life. Many playwrights participated, including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Edward Albee. “The 20th century’s most popular non-realistic genre is absurdism. The root ‘absurd,’ connotes something that does not follow the roots of logic. In the Absurdist school of drama, this holds true. Existence is fragmented, pointless. There is no truth so the search for truth is abandoned in Absurdist works. Language is reduced to a bantering game where words obfuscate rather elucidate the truth. Action moves outside of the realm of causality to chaos. Absurdists minimalize the sense of place. Characters are forced to move in an incomprehensible, void-like realm (Sosnowski).

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Theatre of the Absurd. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from
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