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The Chairs

The Chairs


by Eugene Ionesco

 Table of Contents

The Chairs Themes

The Chairs Themes

Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd

The plays of Ionesco, along with the work of Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov, became the foundation for the theatrical movement known as the Theater of the Absurd. This movement was d...

Versions of Reality

It's really hard to tell what's real and what's not in The Chairs. As soon as you think you've got the world of the play figured out, Ionesco pulls the rug out from under you. By the end, audiences...

Language and Communication

Some think The Chairs presents a cynical view of language and communication. The language of the play is quite garbled the entire way through. The characters mostly speak in random clichés and...

Art and Culture

The Chairs seems in many ways to be a comment on the art of theater itself. It is littered with self-referential touches and often references the fact that it is a play. This style of theater, call...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

In The Chairs, an old man longs to bring meaning to his wasted life. All his dreams have come to nothing, and now he's trapped in a boring, repetitive existence. His grand plan is to deliver a mess...


The characters in The Chairs are totally alienated. Though the Old Man and Woman have spent their lives together, they both still feel alone. They try to come together through the creation of joint...


The theme of time is an important one in The Chairs. There are many hints in the play that time is cyclical. Characters quite often end up where they began or at least are doomed to repeat the same...


The specter of death looms large over the characters in The Chairs. The Old Man and Woman know that their lives will soon be over. The fact of their mortality drives them both to seek some sort of...

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