Theatre and Anti-Theatre-The Escape of Self in the Contemorary British and American Drama

Ms. Varinder Kaur, J p Aggarwal


The present research paper entitled “Theatre and Anti-Theatre: escape of self in the Select Plays of Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee and Tom Stoppard will explore the evolution of loss of self as depicted in contemporary British, French and American. The conspicuous feature of the plays written in the post-World War drama is the escape of self because the protagonists are seen struggling throughout the play.. The playwrights are confronted with the baffling problem of depicting a self that seems to have lost its reality. Darwinism led to the formation of the idea of the machine-man the image of the mechanical self. Keplar’s laws and Freud’s explorations of the unconscious brought home the realization that man is but an infinitesimal fraction of the energy that flows through the universe. In the age of Freud and Einstein, God ceased, as it were to reveal Himself in man.’ Declaring that “modernism and tragedy are incompatible”, Joseph Wood Krutch had rightly pointed out that modern malaise, nausea, angst, alienation, loss of identity, entropy, nihilism were forces that had dehumanized and deflated the heroes (79). Indeed, modern playwright lacks potential to acknowledge “the awareness of the reality of death” (Fromm 245).


Contemorary British; American Drama; Theatre and Anti-Theatre; Escape of Self

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