Antonin Artaud Essay

Antonin Artaud Essay-30
Today his pre-eminence as a founder of modern theatrical style is rivalled only by Brecht, with whom he has much in common.The man and his work, as Martin Esslin persuasively argues in this perceptive study, are inseparable and must be considered together.It rediscovers the idea of figures and archetypal symbols which act like sudden silences, fermata, heart stops, adrenalin calls, incendiary images surging into our abruptly woken minds.

Today his pre-eminence as a founder of modern theatrical style is rivalled only by Brecht, with whom he has much in common.The man and his work, as Martin Esslin persuasively argues in this perceptive study, are inseparable and must be considered together.It rediscovers the idea of figures and archetypal symbols which act like sudden silences, fermata, heart stops, adrenalin calls, incendiary images surging into our abruptly woken minds.

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Genius or madman, everything about Artaud is fascinating – his extraordinary life, his passions, his wide-ranging interests, the brilliance and originality that he brought to his plays, his productions and his other writings.

Artaud died in 1948 at the age of fifty-two, but accomplished a revolution in his short life that is still bearing fruit today.

Founder of the Theatre of Cruelty and a strong influence on Peter Brook, Antonin Artaud dedicated his life and sanity to purging the contemporary French theatre of its bourgeois tendencies.

The influence of Antonin Artaud on the contemporary theatre has only become evident since the early Sixties, although writers and directors have been directly or indirectly influenced by his thinking and innovations for many years.

The main points he raises are: That, like the plague, theatre acts on large groups and disturbs them all in the same way, it does not discriminate.

Artaud thought the theatre could impact on anyone and everyone.Artaud is known for likening the theatre to the plague.One of his essays The theatre and the plague describes in detail the similarities he sees in the two.Artaud wanted this effect from his work; he wanted to manipulate the audience and make them realise what true theatre really is.Everything is the actors physical aspect, just as in the plague victim, shows life has reacted to a paroxysm, yet nothing has happened Theatre creates a sensual unrest, releases suppressed emotions as does the plague; we lose all sense of normality.Theatre also takes gestures and develops them to the limit.Just like the plague, it reforges the links between what does and does not exist in material nature.The audience cannot participate in the activities on stage, therefore they feel helpless.They do not have control over the behaviour of others (much as they would do in a home or work environment) and this itself could be potentially life changing; their way of thinking and reacting could be altered without their contribution. Writing The Stage Essay The French, poet, actor and theorist, Antonin Artaud is recognised as one of the most radical influences on theatre in the 20th century.It instead would become a sort of communion between the audience and the actor and make theatre a live experience.

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