Modern Drama: Theatre of the Absurd

Author: Series Editor John Hughes, Publisher: Phoenix

These volumes offer workshop approaches for studying some of the classic plays of modern drama. The approaches offered will help secondary and tertiary students gain critical insights into the language used in the plays, and the theatrical forms and devices employed, and provide methods for character analysis and thematic examination.

The student-centred interactive strategies presented will also encourage students to bring a play alive by exploring form and content which takes the play off the page and, in the imagination of the students, onto the stage.

Theatre of the Absurd Contents

Introduction ― John Hughes

Play plot grid

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

  • Comedy in Godot                                           
  • Character profile: Vladimir and Estragon
  • Relationship: Pozzo & Lucky
  • The pattern of waiting
  • Role of the audience
  • The student designer
  • God in Godot
  • Playing with language
  • Comparing scenes: ‘Enter Boy’
  • The role of Godot
  • What is communication? 

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

  • Character trees
  • Character assassination
  • Games people play: a jigsaw approach
  • An ebb and flow chart
  • To be or not to be
  • Marriage counselling
  • Conscience plays
  • Setting / staging
  • Communication and conflict
  • Workshop and essay

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

  • Dramatic devices (1)
  • Dramatic devices (2)
  • Allusions
  • Classicism and romanticism
  • Et in Arcadia Ego
  • On Byron and romantic poetry
  • Characters — then
  • Characters — now
  • Language play
  • Epigrams and wit
  • Lost genius
  • Essays


More Information
Date of Publication 2005
ISBN 9781921085031
Subject English
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