Artaud, who was briefly a member of the surrealist movement, outlined his theories in The Theatre and its Double. The Theatre of Cruelty can be seen as a break from traditional Western theatre and a means by which artists assault the senses of the audience. Deeply affected by the events of World War I , the artists of the movement felt increasing skepticism of the existing societal structures that had allowed for global warfare. While Artaud would eventually break away from surrealism, the movement helped to shape his later theories on the Theatre of Cruelty. In his manifesto on surrealism, Breton writes, "pure psychic automatism, by which is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real process of thought. Thought's dictation, in absence of all control exercised by the reason and outside all esthetic or moral preoccupation.
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Theatre of Cruelty , project for an experimental theatre that was proposed by the French poet, actor, and theorist Antonin Artaud and that became a major influence on avant-garde 20th-century theatre. He proposed removing the barrier of the stage between performers and audience and producing mythic spectacles that would include verbal incantations, groans and screams, pulsating lighting effects, and oversized stage puppets and props. Theatre of Cruelty. Info Print Cite.
Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Theatre of Cruelty experimental theatre. See Article History. Read More on This Topic. During the early s, the French dramatist and actor Antonin Artaud put forth a theory for a Surrealist theatre called the Theatre Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
During the early s, the French dramatist and actor Antonin Artaud put forth a theory for a Surrealist theatre called the Theatre of Cruelty. Symbolism , a loosely organized literary and artistic movement that originated with a group of French poets in the late 19th century, spread to painting and the theatre, and influenced the European and American literatures of the 20th century to varying degrees.
Symbolist artists sought to express individual emotional experience through…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.
The Early Modern Theatre of Cruelty and its Doubles
Theatre of Cruelty