Four Plays Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is Absurdism and how does it inhabit the four plays of the book?

Absurdism is a belief system which suggests there is no order or sense in the ways of either the universe or humanity. This sense of chaos plays out in the characters, relationships, and situations of all four plays in this collection, which also develop themes relating to the use of language and the dangers of passion.

2. Describe the distinguishing qualities of the set and the Smiths in The Bald Soprano.

The Bald Soprano is subtitled "An Anti-Play." Stage directions describe everything as "English"-- the setting, the characters, their actions, clothes and furniture. As the clock chimes "English strokes," as it does irregularly and frequently throughout the play, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, an English couple, sit by their English fire and discuss their English food, their English children, and their English friend Bobby Watson.

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