The Theater and Its Double - IX. Letters on Cruelty Summary & Analysis

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IX. Letters on Cruelty Summary and Analysis

This chapter contains three letters, two of which are addressed to J.P. In the first letter, Artaud tries to justify his usage of the word "cruelty" in association with theater within his first manifesto. He says that his "cruelty" has nothing to do with the kind of physical violence it is commonly associated with and that he is not promoting systematic horror in theater. Rather, cruelty relates to the necessity to submit to a type of action that is meant to provoke a physical reaction. This usage of the term applies to both the "metteur en scène," the actors and the spectators. In the second letter, dated two months later, Artaud insists on the component of "necessity," which makes cruelty a part of every meaningful play.

In the third letter, addressed to "M...

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