Antonin Artaud Essay Research Paper It is

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Antonin Artaud Essay, Research Paper It is difficult to say something specific about Antonin Artaud and to limit his contributions of not just re-inventing or re-forming the concept of the theater but also of art, human intellectuality and psychology. Before coming to the idea of The Theater of Cruelty Artaud was concerned with the world?s insignificance towards culture. Artaud explains the need for culture to feed the human mind. He makes a comparison between the need for culture being equal with hunger for food. Unlike the understanding of the contemporary thinkers, Artaud evaluated culture as the most liberal way of gaining knowledge and involving human mind in an intellectual thinking. The civilized man, according to him does not give any relevance to the ability of the

human mind to reach higher levels through its liberty. Artaud recognized a necessity for changes in the culture, a necessity to bring something absolutely new. There was a need for impressive appearances that are a far cry from the clich?s; in fact, according to Artaud the changes should lead towards producing something very shocking for the public, and thus surpass their expectations given by the classical theater. The need for change made Artaud bring the idea of the capability of theater to express the mind or the inner experience. He brings to light the effect of theater on the human mind to be even greater than a real experience. Although he utilized theater to apply his basic ideas, his primary goal, however, was to make a change in the way the human experience was

presented. He related theater to the plague because both destroy the face of civilization, revealing the ugly realities beneath and returning man to a primitive state, in which he lacks morality and reason. The aim of the Theater of Cruelty was to disturb the audience and reveal the forces of nature. Consequently, through his book the author emphasizes the idea of shocking the audience and disturbing their minds. By doing so, the audience is brought to the most essential values and attributes of the intellect. The audience, according to Artaud needs to be shocked and to face the crude reality of their thinking abilities. Therefore, Artaud implies that these thinking abilities, encouraged by theater reality, should continuously develop among that audience. To achieve this

objective he emphasized the nonverbal aspects of theater such as color and movement and stressed the importance of violence as a theatrical device. Artaud understood the importance of meaning of the theater and denounced the world?s recognition of it of merely having an entertainment purpose. He believed in forcing the above mentioned concept to the audience would make an elevated effect. He proposes, in the Theater of Cruelty, that terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all (Artaud 79). Clearly Artaud has a definite idea of what he wants his audience to take home from his theater, and he comprehends the way to make it happen: he

appeals to their emotions, to their reactions, to their humanity. Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty is deliberately alienating to the human being. It is, one might say, an obvious attempt to persuade cognitive dissonance or peculiar state of affairs that requires the audience to think like no other can. His thesis generally relies on the fact that he has to affect the viewer deeply in order to achieve anything. But at the same time, he knows that he has to get the viewer in the door, and that, for his cruelty to be truly cruel, he must transport the spectator onto the stage. The viewer should be introduced to the cruelty and thus find oneself truly involved in the performance. Ultimately, the viewer should be fully involved in the plot or the theme and become part of the stage. I