Alfred Jarry: Ubu Roi [King Ubu Ubu Rex]

(1847 words)
  • Ben Fisher (Bangor University)

Ubu Roi is one of the unlikeliest landmark texts in literature, marking if not exactly a point of transition, then certainly a declaration of intent against the conventions of theatre. It also retains a specific and infectious appeal arising from its origins and deployment; it is a schoolboy puppet show skit, translated to a stage with real actors by one of the most memorable eccentrics of the Parisian avant-garde.

The play’s origins lie in a tradition of mock-heroic plays or skits composed by schoolboys at the lycée de Rennes, dramatising the imaginary adventures of a figure based on hapless physics teacher Félix Hébert, and performed privately, variously through live action and puppetry. Alfred Jarry …

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Fisher, Ben. "Ubu Roi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2008
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Experiment and Avant-Gardes