Absurdity in Beckett, Pinter and Shakespeare Essay

4996 Words Apr 15th, 2011 20 Pages
An-Najah National University
Faculty of Arts
Department of English

Absurdity in Beckett, Pinter and Shakespeare

Written by:
Anas Kamal Khanfar


Supervised by:
Dr.Odeh Odeh

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the B.A. Degree in English

2nd Semester – 2008/2009

Literature review

Life is absurd as a game of chess which is played by a blind man and a sighted man from the point of view of the observer to the patient. In this paper, absurdity is observed and detected in a critical point of view that covers Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Beckett's Endgame and Pinter's "The Birthday Party". Absurdity in these works is at two levels which are character's absurdity and language's absurdity. Bradbrook
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Moreover, its leading practitioners who live in Paris and write in French are not themselves Frenchmen. Stylon (1981) adds that theatre of the absurd evolved as the negative side of Sartre's existentialism and expressed the helplessness and futility of the world, which seemed to have no purpose. Beckett's bleak images of life in Waiting for Godot and Endgame conjure up a human existence, in which life is an intolerable imprisonment spent between the compulsion of birth and the worse compulsion of death. Absurdist plays fall within the symbolist tradition and they have no logical plot or characterization in any conventional sense. Their characters lack the motivation found in realistic drama, so it emphasizes their purposelessness. The absence of plot serves to reinforce the monotony no more than a series of inconsequential clichés, which reduce those who speak them to talking machines.

Stylon (1981) adds that because of this singular content, absurdity presents a special set of practical problems to the writer who wishes to make his way in the theatre. Purposelessness is inconsistent with everything dramatic art has achieved in the past. In addition, extremes of the absurdist vision are too repelling to stage in their own terms.

Absurdity in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”:

A literary work critic may treat many

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