The Cenci Essay

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Trudell is an independent scholar with a bachelor's degree in English literature. In the following essay, Trudell discusses how the overwhelming sensory experience of The Cenci challenges its audience's moral convictions.

The Cenci is clearly intended to be a shocking play. Artaud chooses a horrific story for his subject and, unlike Percy Bysshe Shelley in his version of the story, includes no condemnation of the immorality of the characters. In fact, Artaud emphasizes that Beatrice, Camillo, Orsino, and the other characters are much more similar to Cenci than they first appear, since none of them are bound by any system of moral rules. In accordance with Artaud's theory of the Theatre of Cruelty, they are like universal forces acting on the basis of fundamental convictions and desires, and they pay no heed to any moral or religious guidelines. The play creates an atmosphere in which morals do not...

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This section contains 1,558 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cenci Study Guide
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The Cenci from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.