The Play And Practitioner Ie. Waiting For Godot By S. Beckett/ Antonin Artuad (Modernist Practitioner)

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The Play And Practitioner ie. waiting for Godot by S. Beckett/ Antonin Artuad (Modernist Practitioner)

The Play And Practitioner ie. waiting for Godot by S. Beckett/ Antonin Artuad (Modernist Practitioner)

Antonin Artaud: some say a madman, others say a theatrical genius. His fury and rebellion against the world around him are clearly demonstrated by the theatre he created. He wanted the audience to feel what he did and associate with his thoughts at a subconscious level. Artaud desired to show everyone something they had never seen before, by veering away from conventional Western theatre in the early twentieth century. The popular theatre at the time pertained more to social and political conflicts. The audience would be regularly reminded that what they were watching was a theatrical event, so that their perception would not be clouded by emotion.

Artaud believed it relied too much on logic, text, reason, and experience, evoking a shallow response from the spectator. Every aspect of his theories culminated to form a revolutionary theatrical genre called the Theatre of Cruelty. Artaud intended it to shock and spur change, at first within French society, and later on within all of humanity. So what fueled his intense loathing for society, and will for change? How did Antonin Artaud attempt to influence the system by which he felt enslaved? Did he manage to break through society's constraints and to have an impact on others? I will focus my essay around answering these questions, as they will be a guide in the process of reaching a conclusion.

In order to examine Antonin Artaud's work, I realized that it is necessary to study his life, as the two are visibly related, each being an influence on the other. Already from the tender age of five did Artaud's health problems commence, beginning with physical afflictions and later moving on to mental illness as well. As a child, he suffered from meningitis and speech impediments. He nearly drowned at the age of ten, and after his grandmother died in 1914, the youth fell into severe depression, later undergoing a nervous breakdown. This led to his first visit to a sanatorium, the first of many to come.

Artaud became introduced to laudanum, a type of narcotic, in his early adulthood, establishing a life long addiction to drugs. Basically, Artaud's life was one marked by severe traumatic experiences. Fifteen of his fifty-two years were spent in various asylums, where he was subjected to over fifty electroshock treatments. His life story is reflected by his work in an obvious manner; the only way such a man can view life is through the dark window of his tormented soul. Did he blame the world surrounding him for his unfortunate existence? I think that the French society in the 1920s and 1930s wasn't ready yet for what Artaud had to say; it feared him and therefore labeled him as 'insane'. Society doesn't like ideas of an uncommon or anarchistic nature, like the ones of an artist such as ...
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