What is the relationship between existentialism and "Theatre of the Absurd"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The "Theatre of the Absurd" is not so much a formal movement as it is a collective that consists of works by Western dramatists in the 1950s to 1960s that subscribe to the existentialist concept of the "absurd" as introduced by philosopher Albert Camus. Camus's idea of the absurd is that the human condition is characterized by the absence of any intrinsic value or hidden meaning:

Human existence might be described as 'absurd' in one of the following senses.... Many existentialists argued that nature as a whole has no design, no reason for existing. Although the natural world can apparently be understood by physical science or metaphysics, this might be better thought of as 'description' than either understanding or explanation. (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In order to communicate this, the elements in an Absurdist play are designed to reflect that very disconnect between form and meaning—all while highlighting human struggle and its unheroic futility. Since existentialism views...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 511 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on