No Exit Symbolism

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“Through me the way into the doleful city, / Through me the way into eternal grief, / Through me the way among a race forsaken. / ... / Abandon hope, forever, you who enter,” (Dante 20). When one thinks of the underworld one might expect see eternal flames and hear blood-curdling screams in pain, but what about a small dark room with two other people? What about living cooped up in one room, forever hearing the thoughts of another? Watching those alive forget about you? That’s where the characters Joseph Garcin, Inès Serrano, and Estelle Rigault find themselves in the play No Exit. The design was well put together, and symbolism played a major part in the style, the staging, and the acting. Every element pointed to one clear theme: the true …show more content…
From the striking of the forearm that the Valet does to the string pulling action the other characters act, each motion represents something new. One clear example of this is the Valet’s condemnation action. This consists of the Valet holding his hands in fists, hitting one forearm on top of the other, and sliding the top arm down the other arm. All this was done in a quick, crisp, and deliberate motions and right before each main character found themselves in the room. As previously stated, this action signified the death and condemnation of each character by the moment when it occurs. Another action that’s pretty important is the action the main characters make when they say crying. The action consists of the character stretching their arm in front of them in a manner of one pulling a string connected to their body away from them. The reason this action is so important is that it seem to signify the character’s human emotions leaving them or getting “pulled” out of them. They only do this when the say the word “cry”, “crying”, or any derivative of it. The play No Exit was an innovative and symbolic look at the attributes of Hell, and how it affects those in it. There are many things the production team did well to illuminate those attributes and to illustrate the theme. What one can take from this show is that there are things that can cause pain to those who are living and possibly even those who are “absent”. Whether direct and clear or hidden and

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