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Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Eugen Ionescu

Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906 22 December 1989), Harold i!ter (10 "ctober 1930 2# December 2008) a!d $u%e!e &o!e'co (26 (o)ember 1909 28 *arc+ 199#) ,ere t+ree -amou' a)a!t.%arde pla/,ri%+t' a!d al'o 'ome o- t+e -oremo't -i%ure' o- t+e 0+eatre o- t+e Ab'urd, ,+ic+ i' co!'idered b/ ma!/ critic' to be t+e mo't importa!t t+eatrical p+e!ome!o! o- t+e 20t+ ce!tur/ but ,+ic+ ,a' at -ir't co!'idered a t+reat to t+eater it'el-1 $)e! i- t+e/ ,ere comi!% -rom di--ere!t e!)iro!me!t', t+e/ all +ad a pro-ou!d e--ect o! t+e ,orld o- drama1 Harold i!ter a!d $u%e!e &o!e'co became part o- t+e mo)eme!t t+at ,a' i!'pired b/ Beckett a!d became k!o,! a' t+e 0+eater o- t+e Ab'urd1 &o!e'co ,a' bor! i! Slati!a, 2oma!ia, but li)ed mo't o- +i' li-e i! 3ra!ce, 4u't like +i' co!temporar/, Beckett, ,+o ,a' bor! i! Dubli!, &rela!d1 A' a di--ere!ce bet,ee! t+em, ,e could 'a/ t+at &o!e'co 'pe!t mo't o- +i' c+ild+ood i! 3ra!ce a!d, ,+ile t+ere, +ad a! e5perie!ce +e claimed a--ected +i' perceptio! o- t+e ,orld more 'i%!i-ica!tl/ t+a! a!/ ot+er a!d +e co!ti!ued to retur! to 2oma!ia -or !umerou' rea'o!'1 Beckett mo)ed perma!e!tl/ to ari' i! 1936 a-ter +e 'pe!t t,o /ear' i! 7o!do! ,it+out a 'tead/ 'ource o- i!come a!d a--ected b/ depre''io!1 He le-t &rela!d becau'e +e ,a' u!+app/ ,it+ t+e academic li-e1 He +ad to -lee ari' i! 19#2 a-ter t+e outbreak o- 8orld 8ar &&, but at t+e e!d o- t+e ,ar +e retur!ed to ari'1 ari'ia! 'ce!e ,a' a la!dmark -or t+e ,ork o- bot+ aut+or', a!d al'o a ba'e -or dramatic moder!i'm a!d it' ba'ic directio!'1 0+e/ bot+ ,rote t+eir ,ork' i! t,o la!%ua%e'9 3re!c+ a!d 2oma!ia! -or &o!e'co a!d 3re!c+ a!d $!%li'+ -or Beckett1 0+e/ 'tudied 3re!c+ i! u!i)er'it/ a!d ,orked a' 3re!c+ teac+er' -or a '+ort time1 Beckett a!d &o!e'co ,ere co!'idered 'ome o- t+e mo't i!-lue!tial ,riter' o- t+e 0+eatre o- t+e Ab'urd1 $''li! called t+em :ab'urd; ba'ed o! Albert <amu'= co!cept o- t+e ab'urd, clami!% t+at t+e/ better captured t+e mea!i!%le''!e'' o- e5i'te!ce i! t+eir pla/' t+a! i! ,ork b/ <amu' or Sartre1 A!ot+er re'embla!ce bet,ee! t+e t,o co!temporar/ ,riter' ,a' t+at pla/' ,ere !ot t+eir -ir't c+oice, 'o t+e/ ,rote t+eir -ir't pla/' late1 &o!e'co 'tarted ,riti!% poetr/ a!d critici'm a' :(u; a!d :Hu%oliade;, a!d +i' -ir't pla/, ,rote i! 19#8, ,a' ba'ed o! +i' e5perie!ce olear!i!% $!%li'+ u'i!% t+e A''imil met+od, ,+ic+ did !ot ,orked -or +im becau'e +e -elt t+at +e ,a' rat+er di'co)eri!% 'ome a'to!i'+i!% trut+', but ,+ic+ 'udde!l/ 'truck +im a' bei!% a' 'tupe-/i!% a' t+e/ ,ere i!di'putabl/ true1 3or Beckett ,a' a little di--ere!t1 Hi' -ir't ,riti!%' ,ere a critical e''a/ :Da!te> Bru!o1 ?ico11 @o/ce; a!d a '+ort 'tor/ :A''umptio!;1 Duri!% +i' brie- )i'it i! Dubli! i! 19#A, +e +ad a re)elatio!9 +i' e!tire -uture directio! i! literature appeared to +im1 Beckett +ad -elt t+at +e ,ould remai! -ore)er i! t+e '+ado, o- @o/ce, certai! to !e)er be't at +i' o,! %ame1 Hi' re)elatio! prompted +im to c+a!%e directio! a!d to ack!o,led%e bot+ +i' o,! 'tupidit/ a!d +i' i!tere't i! i%!ora!ce a!d impote!ce9 :& realiBed t+at @o/ce +ad %o!e a' -ar a' o!e could i! t+e directio! o- k!o,i!% more, bei!% i! co!trol oo!e=' material1 He ,a' al,a/' addi!% to itC /ou o!l/ +a)e to look at +i' proo-' to 'ee t+at1 & realiBed t+at m/ o,! ,a/ ,a' impo)eri'+me!t, i! lack o- k!o,led%e a!d i! talki!% a,a/, i! 'ubtracti!% rat+er t+a! addi!%1; Alt+ou%+ &o!e'co k!e, Beckett a!d +o!ored +i' ,ork, t+e 3re!c+ %roup o- pla/,ri%+t' ,a' -ar -rom a! or%a!iBed mo)eme!t1 2e%ardi!% t+e 0+eatre o- t+e Ab'urd, t+e t,o aut+or' did !ot !ece''aril/ u'e t+e 'ame t+eme' or de'cribe t+em i! t+e 'ame ,a/, but mo't o- t+e 'tudie' me!tio! t+at t+e %e!eral idea' o- t+e !e, t/pe o- t+eater are lo!eli!e'', pai!, t+e ab'urd o- +uma! co!'ciou'!e'', but al'o t+e lack o- commu!icatio! o- t+e la!%ua%e, t+e reli%io! a!d time1 0+e perceptio! o- li-e a' a poi!tle'', ab'urd a!d +eartbreaki!% e5i'te!ce i! t+at time did !ot repre'e!t a !e, idea i! literature or p+ilo'op+/, !ot e)e! i! t+eatre1 0+e

tra%ic o- t+e e5ceptio!al +uma! bei!% become' i! t+e !e, t/pe o- t+eater a collecti)e tra%ic o+uma!it/, becau'e t+e ab'urd i' related to all o- u', more or le''1 0ime i' o!e o- t+e e!emie' o- !o,ada/' people9 t+e c+aracter', t+eir actio!', t+e ,ait or t+e mo)e are time.co!'umi!%1 Deat+ i' le'' i!tere'ti!% a' a! e)e!t t+e! a' a proce'' i! t+e 0+eater o- t+e Ab'urd1 &! &o!e'co=' a!d Beckett=' pla/', deat+ i' pro%re''i)e, e)e! i- it i' a lo!% -i!al a%o!/, or t+e ,+ole e5i'te!ce i' u!der'tood a' a +ard a!d cruel 4our!e/ leadi!% to deat+1 0+ere are ob)iou'l/ 'ome e5ceptio!', o!e o- t+em i' -ou!d i! o!e o- &o!e'co=' pla/', ,+ere deat+ i' due to a )iole!t actio!1 <ompared to Beckett, ,+o'e c+aracter' are al,a/' tra%ic or comic, &o!e'co bri!%' comic c+aracter' built caricatural, ,it+ 'tra!%e a!atom/1 0+e problem ,it+ -amilial relatio!'+ip i! moder! ,orld built t+e 'tarti!% poi!t -or a lot o- pla/' ,ritte! b/ t+e t,o aut+or'1 0+e -ailure o- +uma! relatio! could !ot a)oid t+e -amilial co!te5t1 0+e -amilial co!-lict lo'e' all comic acce!t i! Beckett=' pla/'C t+e &ri'+ aut+or ca!!ot or ,ould !ot treat ,it+ +umor, like &o!e'co, t+e -ailure o- t+e -amilial relatio!'+ip' or i!di--ere!ce1 $u%e!e &o!e'co a!d Samuel Beckett ,ere bot+ married a!d +ad c+ildre! a!d a-ter deat+ t+e/ ,ere buried i! *o!tpar!a''e cemeter/ ,it+ t+eir ,i)e'1 Some o- t+e mo't importa!t ,ork' o- &o!e'co are9 0+e Bald Sopra!o, 0+e Submi''io!, 0+e 7e''o!, 0+e <+air', Salutatio!', ?ictim' o- Dut/, a!d -rom Samuel Beckett are9 *urp+/, *ollo/, 8aiti!% -or Dodot, Ho, it i', 8att, $!d%ame a!d 0+e E!!amable1 Harold i!ter ,a' bor! i! $a't 7o!do! a!d u!like Beckett, +e +ad a bi% i!tere't i! t+eatre -rom t+e be%i!!i!% a!d +e +ad 'tudied acti!% at 2o/al Academ/ o- Dramatic Art' a!d t+e! at <e!tral Sc+ool o- Speec+ a!d Drama1 So, +e ,a' -ir't o- all a! actor, a!d t+i' ,a' o!e o- t+e mai! di--ere!ce' bet,ee! +im, Beckett a!d &o!e'co1 &! 19A0', +e be%a! to ,rite -or t+e 'ta%e a!d a' me!tio!ed be-ore, +e ,a' a' ,ell i!'pired b/ Beckett i! +i' ,ork1 Hi' be't.k!o,! pla/' i!clude 0+e Birt+da/ art/, 0+e Homecomi!%, Betra/al, 0+e <aretaker, 0+e Ser)a!t, 0+e 7o)er, A Sli%+t Ac+e1 i!ter a!d Beckett '+ared 'ome c+aracteri'tic' o- t+eir ,ork1 3or e5ample, t+e/ did !ot pro)ide a!/ ratio!al moti)atio! -or t+e actio!' o- t+eir c+aracter' a!d t+e e!d o- t+eir pla/' i' ambi%uou', ope! to i!terpretatio! or ,it+ !o -i!al 'olutio!1 0+eir ,ork ,a' +i%+l/ appreciated b/ t+e critic' a!d t+e/ ,o! t+e (obel riBe i! 7iterature, i!ter i! 200A a!d Beckett i! 1969, i! additio! to all t+e ot+er' !otable a,ard' t+e/ ,o!1 &! Harold i!ter=' pla/', t+e 'etti!% i! u'uall/ a 'i!%le room ,+o'e occupa!t' are e!%a%ed i! a 'tru%%le -or 'ur)i)al or ide!tit/, ,+ile bei!% t+reate!ed b/ u!de-i!ed -orce' o- people1 0+e room, ,+ic+ '+ould repre'e!t t+eir re-u%e a%ai!'t a +o'tile ,orld, %raduall/ become' a +orrible place1 8+at i' %oi!% o! out'ide or belo, t+e 'ur-ace o- ,+at i' actuall/ '+o,! i' deliberatel/ le-t ob'cure1 Beckett, i! +i' 'ub'eFue!t ,ork', co!ti!ued to pu'+ t+e bou!darie' o- pla/,riti!%1 &! +i' ,ork', i! ,+ic+ t+ere i' almo't !o c+aracteri'atio!, or plot, or -i!al 'olutio!, +a)e dark a!d recurri!% t+eme'9 ma!=' 'tru%%le a%ai!'t t+e -utilit/ o- li-e, +i' 'e!'e o- lo!eli!e'' a!d boredom, a!d t+e impo''ibilit/ o- e'tabli'+i!% commu!icatio! ,it+ ot+er'1 &! Beckett=' pla/', lo!el/ people e5i't i! %loom/, empt/, alie! e!)iro!me!t'1 0+e/ are paral/'ed b/ t+eir +ope a!d i!abilit/ to take actio!1 0+eir alie!atio! i' e5pre''ed i! co!ci'e, '/!copated la!%ua%e t+at doe' !ot +elp t+em to ac+ie)e mea!i!%-ul commu!icatio!1 Beckett u'ed i! +i' ,ork' t+e i!terior mo!olo%ue tec+!iFue, ,+ic+ depict i! )ariou' ,a/ t+e +opele'' a!%ui'+ o- i!di)idual' trapped i! %rote'Fue 'ituatio!'1 i!ter ,a' i!)ol)ed i! politic' a!d 'eemed to e5pre'' ambi)ale!ce, bot+ i!di--ere!ce a!d +o'tilit/, to,ard' political 'tructure' a!d politicia!'1 He +ad bee! a! earl/ member o- t+e <ampai%! -or (uclear Di'armame!t a!d al'o +ad 'upported t+e Briti'+ A!ti.Apart+eid *o)eme!t1 0+e'e are 4u't a -e, e5ample' o- +i' political acti)it/ o)er t+e /ear'1 &! co!clu'io!, $u%e!e &o!e'co, Samuel Beckett a!d Harold i!ter ,ere be't.k!o,! -or bei!% ma'ter' o- t+e 0+eatre o- Ab'urd, eac+ o- t+em impro)ed t+e 't/le i! +i' o,! ,a/, put t+eir touc+ o! t+e ,orld o- drama a!d t+eir dedicated ,ork ,+ic+ ,a' a,arded i! t+eir li-etime a!d 'till i' appreciated b/ t+e critic' a!d !ot o!l/1