Simplified Stories

Absurd Characterization.

Curiosity and bizarreness are the most important features that make the personality of the absurd character, Esslin again noticed that the absurd playwrights focus mainly on how to make their characters mysterious and bizarre: “The laws of probability as well as those of physics are suspended when we meet young ladies with two or even three noses” Sinking into their characters’ vicinity of misery and pain to reflect their hopelessness onto life and society. Unlike the theater of the absurd, the characters of the traditional drama seem to have a unique personality. Their language and behavior is reasonable and easy to get by most of the audience.

In the new theater, playwrights portray people, focusing mainly on the protagonist, who had lost every normal sense, behavior, and sometimes appearance. The Absurd’s main character has a unique personality and nature if it was compared to the traditional characters. Sometimes they talk to themselves, and most of the time their words get interrupted or disordered, because there is no normal rules they are committed to in order to explain their thoughts. Therefore, the audience found it difficult to understand the characteristics of the characters, and sometimes they cannot even understand the purpose of this kind of behavior.

In order to fully understand the artistic features that make the absurd character unique, it is significant to analyze briefly one or two of its great protagonists in a way that reveals what differentiate them from the traditional characters. A great example of such protagonists are Vladimir and Estragon from “Waiting for Godot (1953)” that was written by Samuel Beckett,

Regardless of the existential concept that men cannot take the essence of his existence from someone else, while seeing this play, one has to compare Vladimir and Estragon in their relationship, as absurd characters, with the relationship among traditional characters, actually, the novice viewing this play for the first time often fails to look out for any significant similarities between the two characters and the traditional standards. In addition, the interruption of language by weird behaviour, might stand as an obstacle preventing the audience from finding meaning. For example, the passage where Vladimir is explaining or describing something to Estragon, he seems to be more interested by his hat!


Sometimes I feel it coming all the same. Then I go all queer. (He takes off his hat, peers inside it, feels about inside it, shakes it, puts it on again.) How shall I say? Relieved and at the same time . . . (he searches for the word) . . . appalled. (With emphasis.) APPALLED. (He takes off his hat again, peers inside it.) Funny. (He knocks on the crown as though to dislodge a foreign body, peers into it again, puts it on again.) Nothing tobe done. (Estragon with a supreme effort succeeds in pulling off his boot. He peers inside it, feels about inside it, turns it upside down, shakes it, looks on the ground to see if anything has fallen out, finds nothing, feels inside it again, staring sightlessly beforehim.) Well?

 The previous act highlights how the combination between language and behavior may cause & confusion among the audience, such combination tends to force the audience into a state of wondering and puzzlement, for the sake of getting even the tiniest clues about those characters and the purpose of their behaviors within a play where nothing is certain, neither language nor behavior, neither time nor place. Such state makes the play seems to pose more questions than it ever answers, and this is why the playwright keeps emphasizing on creating more chaos, confusion and despair.

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Aboubakar Mihoubi

A well-driven writer of very crucial topics to several fields, Literature, Social backgrounds of Nations and Civilizations.

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