How did Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter contribute to the theater of the absurd?

Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter both contributed to the theatre of the absurd by writing plays that focus on the meaninglessness of life. Their plays lack plot and concentrate on themes of individual isolation and futility.

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Let's begin by defining the theatre of the absurd. Popular in the period from 1940 to 1960, plays in this genre explore the absurdity of humanity and human life and tend to present life as meaningless, illogical, and disconnected. The theatre of the absurd focuses on the themes of individual...

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Let's begin by defining the theatre of the absurd. Popular in the period from 1940 to 1960, plays in this genre explore the absurdity of humanity and human life and tend to present life as meaningless, illogical, and disconnected. The theatre of the absurd focuses on the themes of individual isolation, uncertainty in all things, and the absence of meaning. These plays are often labeled "anti-plays," for they tend to be anti-realistic, lacking in plot, sparse in language, and focused on the author's "personal intuition."

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot is probably the most famous of the plays in this genre. Its focus is on individual isolation and meaninglessness as two characters wait for someone named Godot and merely talk in circles while they do. Godot never shows, and the two decide that perhaps they will commit suicide to escape the absurdity of life. Many of Beckett's other plays are also focused on the futility of human beings and their actions, making them prime examples of the theatre of the absurd.

Harold Pinter also made major contributions to the genre, for his plays, including The Room, The Homecoming, and The Birthday Party, feature illogical plots (like people trapped by unseen forces), scarcely understandable dialogue filled with long pauses, nihilism (a lack of belief in anything), triviality, and disintegration of events and human minds. Meaninglessness pervades these plays, making Pinter another major practitioner of the theatre of the absurd.

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