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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 158

Playwright Eugene Ionesco has written that his plays are not exercises in absurdity but denunciations of our decaying language. How might Ubu Roi fall into that description?

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Many critics have said that Ubu Roi satirizes the bourgeois values of turn-of-the-century European society. Show how the actions and character of Pere Ubu accomplish this satire.

Scholars have frequently remarked on the allusions to Shakespeare found in Ubu Roi. Find and explain specific references to Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth in this play and comment on their effectiveness as a dramatic tool.

The first public performance of Ubu Roi caused a riot in the Theatre de l’Oeuvre. Research this opening performance and observe not only what happened but how some of the eyewitnesses reacted to this. Compare these reactions to those that accompanied the opening of ‘‘controversial’’ plays such as Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? or Hair by Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt McDermot.

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