The Theatre of the Absurd has renounced arguing about the absurdity of the human condition; it merely presents it in being — that is, in terms of concrete stage images. This is the difference between the approach of the philosopher and that of the poet; the difference, to take an example from another sphere, between the idea of God in the works of Thomas Aquinas or Spinoza and the intuition of God in those of St. John of the Cross or Meister Eckhart — the difference between theory and experience.
Introduction : The absurdity of the Absurd
? "Absurd" originally means "out of harmony," in a musical context. Hence its dictionary definition: "out of harmony with reason or propriety; incongruous, unreasonable, illogical." In common usage, "absurd" may simply mean "ridiculous," but this is not the sense in which Camus uses the word, and in which it is used when we speak of the Theatre of the Absurd. In an essay on Kafka, Ionesco defined his understanding of the term as follows: "Absurd is that which is devoid of purpose. . . . Cut from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless."Martin Esslin