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The term ' absurd drama' or what is called ' the theatre of the absurd sounds somewhat queer. After all, how drama, an imitation of life, can be absurd, for life itself is nothing absurd.

Yet,  this absurd drama is a hard reality of modern theatre, particularly after the 1950s. Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot has opened up the show and its successful progeny has established a secure position for the theatre of the absurd.

'Absurd',  in the literary sense,  means ' out of harmony'. The implication is that the absurd drama is out of harmony with the drama, as it is conventionally staged.  The designation of 'absurd' was given by Albert Camus, ridiculing the situation of a life, where he has simply an entry and an exit.

Camus's denomination resulted in the further interpretation of the position of the modern man in the world with which he is not at all conversant.  The noted literary critic Martin Esslin,  recognizing the presence of such strange situations and characters in the theatre of the 1950s, published a powerful treaties ' theatre of the Absurd'  in 1961. He has clearly indicated here what seems to be the actual features of this absurd drama. Metaphysical absurdity in theme and situation,  an aberrant dramatic style, and somewhat strange characters mark the absurd drama.

The theatre of the Absurd was never a formal movement but centered in post-war Paris.  But the absurd group attained an unexpected success with Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and the Absurd Drama has since then a vital force in the sphere of modern drama. Other important contributors to the theatre of the absurd drama include Eugene Ionesco,  Arthur Adamov,  Jean Genet,  Edward Albee, and Harold Pinter.                            



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