Oh the Sorrow

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, January 1996

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Oh the Sorrow...

During the 20th century, there was an evident disillusion and disintegration

in religious views and human nature due to the horrific and appalling events and

improvements in technology of this time, such as the Holocaust and the creation of

the atom bomb. This has left people with little, if any, faith in powers above or in

their own kind, leaving them to linger in feelings of despair and that life is an

absurd joke. From these times grew the Theater of Absurd. Here they attempted

to depict the very illogical and ridiculous life they were living. In comparison to

traditional characteristics of earlier plays, the plots are seemingly deficient, if not

sparse with little resolution. Yet despite this, these plays make very bold and

philosophical statements about life in the 20th century. The playwrights

indiscreetly utilize metaphoric and symbolic details to support their message. In

'Krapp's Last Tape,' Samuel Beckett exploits such techniques in expressing his

own bleak and pessimistic view of the world.

In his middle years of his life, Krapp retained this rigid and anal retentive

nature. He kept these tapes in which he would constantly reevaluate his own life

and try to always improve it, using these tapes as 'help before embarking on a new

retrospect' (1629). He had also stored these various tapes organized in boxes with

their location written in a ledger. Yet in his latter years, there is an apparent decay

of this regimental attitude. His very appearance is an indication of this decline.

He is described as wearing 'Rusty black narrow trousers to short for him. Rusty

black sleeveless waistcoat. Surprising pair of dirty white boots. Disordered gray

hair. Unshaven. Very near-sighted (but unspectacled),' which is not the

description of an anal retentive person (1627). Also despite the...