Alfred Jarry, Ubu Roi [King Ubu Ubu Rex]

Ben Fisher (Bangor University)
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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 participated in this tradition while at the school between 1888 and 1891, and took

1847 words

Citation: Fisher, Ben. "Ubu Roi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23767, accessed 13 April 2024.]

23767 Ubu Roi 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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