Václav Havel: Absurd Tragedian. A study into the influence of tragedy and absurdism on Václav Havel’s plays from 1963-1989

Mellish, Huw (2019). Václav Havel: Absurd Tragedian. A study into the influence of tragedy and absurdism on Václav Havel’s plays from 1963-1989. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This dissertation is a study of modern classical reception which explores the ways in which playwright and politician Václav Havel has interpreted and reinterpreted classical tragedy. I examine the way in which a relatively modern playwright applies classical ideas of tragedy to their work, whilst also using this knowledge to reinterpret classical tragedy for a modern world and audience. I address the gaps in Czech classical reception studies by Being the first classical reception dissertation to focus entirely on Václav Havel. Furthermore, I illustrate how the Theatre of the Absurd can be seen as the modern theatre genre most similar to classical tragedy, in terms of its approach and ideas. For each individual play of Havel’s, I have identified a particular theme present as either, or both, tragic and Absurd drama and then demonstrated how Havel uses them. This helps to recognise, on a base level, the similarities and differences between both genres of theatre, and identifies Havel as an “absurd tragedian”.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland) > DJK Eastern Europe
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9595


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year