1929-1950 – repetition of familiar themes; ability to foresee things; prophesy.‘Apple cart’ – the Welfare state problems (writ. 1929) prophetic, ‘On the rocks’ – pub.1933 – foresaw the decline of England as an Empire4)Limitations – lack of action; priority is given to the intellect at the expense of imagination; brilliant pamphleteer, but his plays lack the dimension of poetry; there’s more talking than showing; long prefaces, stage directions. Battlefields of conflicting ideas; splendid intellectual ‘tennis’ matches (thesis – anti-thesis)10
5) Merits – first dramatist to discuss public affairs – religious, social issues. Master of brilliantly clever dialogues. Viruosity in handling of paradoxes. Perfect command of the L. of assertion. Passion for justice. Good musician, rhythmical speeches. After 1905 he became the world’s most famous living play-wright. Recognised as the second only to Shakespeare. In 1925 won the Nobel Prize of Lit. W/o racial prejudices. Benevolent on all humanity. Political leaders were for him blunderers, inefficiently educated in the art of ruling.Theatre of the AbsurdName given by Martin Esslin. What’s in common with these playwrights:-life is absurd & meaningless (human existence). To reflect this they create meaningless speeches & silences. Absurdists – applied to writers in prose fiction, human conditions are absurd.-roots in surrealism (James Joyce, Kafka)-emerged after WWII; rebellion against traditional values & cult.Central to realism – life is meaningful; man – a rational creature, living in intelligible universe, part of a social str-re, man is capable of heroism.Impact of the existential philosophy on the Lit. of the Absurd – Jean-Paul Sartre & Albert Camus; - irrational, isolated being (man), hostile universe, human life – from meaningless to nothingness, painful existence;SAMUEL BECKETT (1906-1989) Nobel prize in 1969. Irishman, lived in Paris & wrote in french & recreated in English.- irrationalism of man, absurdity of life. ‘Waiting for Godot’ – 2 ??? in wilderness & waiting for s.o. who may or may not come. Double absurdity – grotesquely comic & irrational. A parody of trad. drama, of the well-made man. Dialogue is pointless, funny, loose. Positive msg – hope dies last, it can nourish every succeeding day. Words are used w/ economy & great precision. But can express complexity of feelings – setting, time. Waiting for sth to happen. Char.s are unique. Beckett’s plays – reductive (reduced to the bare essencials), but the effect is very pwr-ful.