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Antonin Artaud

1896: Born, 4 September, Marseilles.

1901: Contracts meningitis, which starts a lifelong
history of nervous disorders.

1915: Suffers from depression. His parents arrange for
him to go into a sanatorium. This first
incarceration is a signal of a condition that is
repeated throughout his life.

1918: Prescribed…

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to create as much meaning as the spoken word. They should be controlled and precise in
order to achieve their objective. Artaud saw theatre as a weapon to destroy present society.

His theories on theatre seek to return to some notion of primitivism, aiming to release the
mostly dark forces…

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It used rapid juxtaposition of imagery e.g. a woman who
is about to be embraced becomes a cow, the
transformation provoking a sudden release of laughter.
He saw laughter as a great liberator. His theatre could do
the same through such contrasts and he envisaged the
use of puppets alongside…

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most carefully programmed set of circumstances. Through stimulation of the physical and
emotional senses, the audience was to be maintained in a constant state of uncertainty,
leading to overwhelming catharsis (emotional release). Its emphasis is on `enclosed' and
`below' as it implies an audience both trapped and powerless in position.…


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