Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Committee or Advisor Chair

William W. Main

Committee Members

Frederick S. Bromberger

Ralph E. Hone

Dr. Richard Barnes

Clarence E. Downing


drama, conceit, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett


Comparative Literature | Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | English Language and Literature | French and Francophone Language and Literature | Philosophy | Theatre and Performance Studies


This study is an effort to define and demonstrate the convention of the conceit as it is employed in the drama of Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Eugene Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett. Critics such as Martin Esslin and Jacques Guicharnaud have complained, somewhat bitterly at times, that one or the other of the "schools" to which these playwrights are assigned belongs to a relatively new convention, which has not been widely understood or even adequately defined. Each of these experts, of course, has attempted to lessen this lack, Esslin with The Theatre of the Absurd, and Guicharnaud, Modern French Theatre: from Giraudoux to Genet. I intend "A House of Conceits" to be another framework of reference showing the works of Sartre, Camus, Ionesco, and Beckett within their own convention.