2023 年 22 巻 1 号 p. 1-15
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the characteristics of Sartre’s audience theory in his theater theory through a reading of The Flies. Sartre wrote The Flies in 1943 and this work was performed at Théâtre de Cité directed by Charles Dullin. Paris was under German occupation for about four years from June 1940 to August 1944. In 1943, when The Flies was performed, Sartre also published Being and Nothingness. Sartre is known as a philosopher of freedom, and this concept of freedom is depicted as an important theme in The Flies, as well as in Being and Nothingness. This paper aims to investigate his theater from the perspective of bad faith and freedom based on Michel Contat who read Being and Nothingness as a book about resistance against Germany. Freedom in The Flies is embodied by the protagonist Oreste, as pointed out by Robert Lorris and Fronçois Noudelmann. Oreste, the only free human being in Argos, kills Égisthe and Clytemnestre to take the suffering and regret of Électre and the citizens of Argos, which then restores the absence of his soul. From the perspective of bad faith, the analysis will focus on Électre and the citizens of Argos. Électre, who was complicit in the murder of her mother, could not escape from the guilt and denies Oreste, the direct perpetrator, and was attracted to the sweet words of Jupiter, the god of flies and death, and finally falls into madness. The citizens of Argos were portrayed as cowardly citizens who followed those in power and as neighbors who accused their allies. Reading The Flies as a play about the allegory of Paris under occupation, we can think of the citizens of Argos as anguished Parisians, while Électre becoming mad as a Parisian who has joined the German side in order to survive but is experiencing unstable everyday life. In Sartre’s lecture “Le style dramatique” (1944), he said that there is an “absolute distance” in theater and that the audiences, because of this distance, have the desire to go outside themselves in order to see themselves better. When an audience is watching a play and is emotionally attaching themself to an actor, he or she is in a state where he or she sees the actor as the character of the performance within themself. This paper will conclude that when the audiences understood the Other as such a person and invited the Other into the Self, the audiences were able to apart themselves from being alone and enter a state of non-uniqueness. By watching The Flies, the citizens of Paris, who went in a state of bad faith under German occupation, were able to know not only their own painful experiences but also the suffering of people from various walks of life, and they were able to gain freedom which meant a state of non-uniqueness apart from themselves.