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Absurdism Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

Dewsbury is a writer and instructor of English and American Studies. In this essay, she examines Absurdism's short life as a formal movement and its long-range effects on Western culture.

Critic Martin Esslin identified the common elements shared by a number of dramatic works of the 1950s and provided the label "Theatre of the Absurd" to those works. At first, audiences found these works incomprehensible; viewers left the theaters not knowing what to make of these plays that defied all the traditional elements of staged drama. The textbook case, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, had no plot, a setting that consisted of only a bare tree, and two characters whose actions resembled slapstick more than theater. It was produced on stage for the first time in 1953, and for the first time in London in 1955 where critics and audiences alike considered it "completely obscure." Nine years later, Esslin reports...

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This section contains 1,697 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Absurdism Study Guide
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Absurdism from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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