… Absurdity and Beyond in The Real Inspector Hound
To term Tom Stoppards plays beyond absurdity is probably an apt assessment. Indeed, in the play The Real Inspector Hound, Stoppard seems to heap absurdity upon absurdity until there is little room left for doubt: the audience has been led to the realm beyond the absurd.
The absurdity of the play is revealed at its opening. The audience sees another audience waiting for the beginning of a play. Another absurdity is revealed through the dialogue between the critics forming part of the stage audience. Birdboot and Moon sit together and discuss not only the play, but also their private concerns and worries. Moon is for example preoccupied with the critic he is standing in for, Higgs. He perceives an absurd symbiosis between himself and Higgs, the one being present when the other is absent. There is also a third critic, Macafferty, who is third in position to Higgs and Moon.
Birdboot on the other hand is preoccupied with his wife. His relationship with her appears to be stable at the beginning of the dialogue. The vehemence of his self-defense when confronted with apparent indiscretions with other women however testify to …