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2005

Theses and Dissertations

French and Francophone Language and Literature

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Ionesco's Absurd Anthropology, Deborah Fuller Jul 2005

Ionesco's Absurd Anthropology, Deborah Fuller

Theses and Dissertations

Eugène Ionesco's plays are often thought of only as absurd. This thesis explores another possible interpretation of his plays, including Rhinocèros, Le Roi se meurt, Jeux de massacre, Les Chaises, Victimes du devoir, La Jeune fille à marier, and La Leçon. These plays are investigated with the help of anthropologist René Girard's theory on ritual, violence, and sacrifice. Since these elements are recurring themes in Ionesco's plays, Girard's theory is a useful key to unlocking what may seem at times to be nothing but nonsense, but is full of meaning. In the first chapter, the rituals ...