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Theatre of the Absurd Essay.

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20th October 2004. Kirsty Ponting. Theatre of the Absurd Essay. The Theatre of the Absurd originated from experimental Arts of the avant-garde in the 1920's and 30's. It highlighted the meaning of life and came about as a result of the Second World War. It was also a result of absurd plays having a highly unusual, innovative form, aiming to startle the viewers. In the Second World War, in the meaningless and godless post Second World War world, it was no longer possible to keep using traditional art forms and standards that had ceased being convincing. It openly rebelled against conventional theatre. It was very anti-theatre, coming across as surreal, senseless and plotless. Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter were known as the 'absurd' play writers. They both share the views that man inhabits a universe with which he is out of key. 'Come and Go' by Samuel Beckett is a very simplified; basic play based on three characters talking of the old days and their friendship. Beckett was born 13th April 1906 near Dublin. ...read more.


'I like a bit of bread with my soup'. In 'Come and Go', the atmosphere between the women has less tension. The women are not realistic but anonymous, with no identity. Towards the end of this play, it shows the characters are calm when Vi says 'May we not speak of the old days? (Silence) Of what came after? (Silence) shall we hold hands in the old way?' This suggests memories may be appearing and the characters don't really want to bring the subject up. The language used in these two plays is very similar. In 'Black and White', the language is very colloquial and a lot of slang is used to emphasise the fact that they are in the bar having a typical woman's chat. Pinter wrote this play with thought of building tension in it by writing ambiguous speeches. It is written in very olden day style with things being said slightly different to modern day language. In 'Come and Go', the language is short with nothing being too complex. ...read more.


At the end of this play, the three characters take up position and all join each other's hands, this to me seems like some kind of friendship ring, which has drawn them together. They each hold one another's hands and sit in silence. The last thing said by Flo, 'I can feel the rings', sends it into silence to finish the play, here the audience probably feel although the play is referring to an old friendship that maybe once hung about the three characters and they are bringing back memories between them. In the Theatre of the Absurd, the two plays 'Come and Go' by Samuel Beckett and 'Black and White' by Harold Pinter carry many similarities and differences. They are both plays which carry no meaning and characters have no identities. 'Black and White' is much longer than 'Come and Go'. 'Black and White' is set in a more realistic modern way, of two women sat in a bar having a typical talk, watching the day go by. 'Come and Go' gives a more 1800's feeling with the characters having 1800's names and the setting being very abnormal to a normal more modern play. 'Come and Go' is a more atmospherically, tensional play with the characters being more active. ...read more.

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