Part of the final. I guess I’m discussing comedies. Maybe it’s funny. Formatting looks funny.

The plays by Beckett, Ionesco, and Stoppard all had underlying Isms, including naturalism and realism. All three plays had elements of naturalism, whereas Stoppard?s play also had strong elements of realism. A small trace of neoclassicism may also exist in Stoppard, but romanticism appears to be dead within the realm of absurdist comedy.




Beckett uses naturalism to present his tragicomedy of Waiting for Godot . He deals with the lowe[1]r class, namely two homeless guys in Vladimir and Estragon. Lucky is at or below their level as a slave to Pozzo. We know little more of Pozzo than that he?s a mean master. The boy is a servant to Godot, who never appears.


The use of comparison to animals also tells us that Beckett has given us a naturalistic play. Pozzo calls Lucky a pig, and has him by a leash, like a dog. Pozzo also gives Lucky commands like a master would give to a dog. Lucky reacts like a mistreated dog, too, and he remains faithf?ul to his master while he is vicious towards others. In the second half of the play, Vladimir begins treating Estragon more like an animal, and calls him a hog , a pig, and a sewer-rat.


We hear about or see bodily functions, which makes this play naturalistic. Pozzo farts, and they talk about each other stinking. Vladimir goes to take a leak, and the two talk about getting an erection. They also consider suicide, and death is sort of a bodily function.  Loss of sight (Pozzo) could be naturalism, as well.


The last element that adds naturalism to this play also helps define its absurdism, and that?s the idea of being trapped. The men are trapped in a cycle that never ends, but they are too reduced or stupid to realize that they?re trapped. Being trapped does not allow for growth in the characters, and we see the pointlessness of it all.




Ionesco carries pointlessness from the beginning to the end of his play, Jacques, and being trapped also plays an important role. The title immediately tells us that we are going to read ?a naturalistic comedy.? We know that we are supposed to expect many elements of naturalism, one of which is feeling trapped. Jacques tells Roberta how he tries to escape, but he can?t. We also see them try to escape through their stories, with Jacques seeing himself as the horse. The audience sees the family members watching Jacques, further emphasizing that he has nowhere to go.


Animals are presented in Ionesco?s play as naturalistic elements. The Jacques family all act like animals, sniffing Roberta when she comes in.  The horse is represented as more free than their surroundings. Roberta II discusses cats quite a bit, which is both an animal and a representation of sexual desire. Nature is also represented in color, where the green shows nature or spring, and the life that is brought by sex, another reference to the bodily function of sex. The dance at the end reflects sex and other bodily functions in order to make the audience uneasy.



Stoppard?s The Real Insp?ctor Hound   does not blatantly exhibit its naturalistic elements, but we must recognize that the absurdist/ naturalistic theme of being trapped is certainly being used. Moon and Birdboot become trapped in a murder-mystery that has already been acted out once before. The play is trapped in a cycle, but the critics become trapped in the play. Death as an unromantic bodily function is apparent in this play, but the play, for the most part, doesn?t feel naturalistic.


Stoppard?s play seems to be realistic, since most of the characters inside and outside of the inner play are working class. Most of them are, in fact, film critics. A police inspector, though no one is really one, is of the realistic working-class.


The main problem with realism is that it takes place at Muldoon Manor with a maid and Lady Muldoon. Felicity and the crippled Major Magnus are also at the manor. They appear to be enjoying the leisure of not having to work, a favorite neoclassical pass time. I wo?ld say that this play is written in a realistic style about realistic critics watching a play with some distinct neoclassical elements, while also being trapped in a naturalistic way by the play itself, thus making it all very absurd.



All of these plays deal with the reality of the world we live in and in the plays that we watch. They demonstrate how pointless our lives can be, but also how pointless trying to make sense out of our lives is. Naturalism is the obvious choice for plays that deal with the base human emotions, but Stoppard shows that other Isms can be implemented in order to convey the same general ideas. I?m not sure that I enjoy plays that make the audience feel upset when leaving them, and I would much rather see a play that promotes the best possibilities in the human, rather than the worst. I don?t think that confusing people and plain making fun of them will really help to make society better, since society (at least in America) doesn?t like the joke to be on us.