The Bald Prima Donna

The Values of the Theatre of the Absurd in Beckett and Ionesco

Samuel Beckett, in Waiting for Godot, and Ionesco, in The Bald Prima Donna, both embody the values associated with "Theatre of the Absurd". This is achieved through their use of language, characterisation, and stage direction in order to portray the universe as being arbitrary and meaningless. By using techniques such as false syllogism, repetition and disjointed dialogue, Beckett and Ionesco manage to convey the Absurdist ideals of a random universe and dislocation, depicting life as purposeless and human beings as inexplicable. This is further demonstrated by features which are common to both works, such as a lack of plot and lack of character development. These features combine to reflect the values associated with this genre of literature.

Works from the "Theatre of the Absurd" genre tended to portray the universe as arbitrary and meaningless. This is seen through Beckett's tendency to reduce reality to simple, paradoxical situations which seem to lack any final explanation. One example of this is the problem of Godot's arrival. Perhaps he will finally arrive...but then again, perhaps he will not. Godot's arrival seems to be very much left to chance. This is a reflection of the Absurdist...

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