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In Search Of Meaninglessness: A Close Reading of Absurd Drama

Anannya Gain

M.A. in English (University Of Calcutta)

Net Qualified

Barasat, Kolkata

West Bengal

India

 

ABSTRACT: Martin Esslin coined the term “absurd” in his book The Theatre of the Absurd (1961) for a group of dramatists who instead of searching for a meaning of life were ready to accept the meaninglessness of life. Though these dramatists’ originated from various countries there was a unity of their thought. The major absurd dramatists are Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, Arthur Adamov and Harold Pinter. In this paper I will mainly ponder on the works of the most popular of them: Beckett and Pinter. I will try to unveil some of the characteristics, perspectives and nature of the absurd drama. Some of the very striking features are – there is no such progressive plotline, so ambiguity of action and inaction; language is not sensible, but sort of babbling. The setting of this kind of drama is sterile and very claustrophobic. The characterization is also very obscure and dubious. And obviously there is meaningless life- absurd, and sterile.

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In Search Of Meaninglessness: A Close Reading of Absurd Drama

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2017-04-04T09:07:42+00:00
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