Surrealism in Modern Theartre: A Comparative Study of Sarah Kane’s the Crave and Kenechukwu Igweonu’s the Siren

Author: Nwosu Obianuju Gladys
Department: Theatre Arts
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Theatre has always been seen as a simulacrum of the society that inspires it. This accounts for the artistic/dramatic movements that exist in today’s world hence, changes in world view have always engendered new movements intended to capture and interpret such changes. As a movement, surrealism finds its spur in the writings
of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung as they struggled to cope with the bestiality and terror that had become the order of the day in 19th Century Europe. Since man is innately bestial, it is not surprising that the events which inspired surrealism are today replaying in different parts of the globe. These range from the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and West Africa, the ISIS atrocities in the Middle East to the myriad trouble spots all over the world. As one of the major philosophies that conditioned the convention of thought of the modern period, psychoanalysis is
interested in the subconscious and conscious states of mind as areas for creative enterprise. Unfortunately, surrealism seems to be forgotten as if man has overcome the surreal in everyday existence. Therefore, the problem of this study is to determine the level of influence of surrealism on modern playwrights using the comparative analysis approach while the aim is to advocate for the revival of interest in surrealism and justify its relevance in contemporary life. Hence, this research portrays the suppressed emotions immanent in our society whereby playwrights and other creative artists strive to liberate and free the individual out of their cage using this avant-garde movement as a tool. A case study content analysis research design of the qualitative research method is adopted for the realization of the research objective.

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