The Myth of Sisyphus

by

Albert Camus

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The Actor Character Analysis

Albert Camus holds up the actor-figure as another example of an “absurd man.” In essence, Camus is talking about stage actors rather than film. He sees the actor as an “absurd figure” because he acts out ephemeral lives for ephemeral fame (again, this is much more appropriate to the stage actor than Hollywood celebrities). Camus believes that the actor “demonstrates to what degree appearing creates being,” which aids to show the illusory nature of most people’s lives.

The Actor Quotes in The Myth of Sisyphus

The The Myth of Sisyphus quotes below are all either spoken by The Actor or refer to The Actor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Myth of Sisyphus published in 1991.
8. Conquest Quotes

Let me repeat that these images do not propose moral codes and involve no judgments: they are sketches. They merely represent a style of life. The lover, the actor, or the adventurer plays the absurd. But equally well, if he wishes, the chaste man, the civil servant, or the president of the Republic. It is enough to know and to mask nothing.

Related Characters: Albert Camus (speaker), Don Juan, The Actor, The Conqueror
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Actor Character Timeline in The Myth of Sisyphus

The timeline below shows where the character The Actor appears in The Myth of Sisyphus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
7. The Absurd Man: Drama
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
...a life lived with the absurd, rather than in effort to reject it, is the actor. The actor wants to enter into the “diversity” of different lives, and embraces the “realm”... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Philosophy and Art Theme Icon
The stage actor, says Camus, has only “three hours” and a relatively small amount of space to live... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
...unity of the soul—one single identity—and the promise of a deferred eternal life. In contrast, Actors insists on multiple identities and living in the moment. (full context)
8. The Absurd Man: Conquest
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
The Church opposes the conqueror, just as it did the actor. Conquerors reject any notion of the eternal—to the conqueror, the only “truths” are those that... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Camus concludes this section by reminding the reader that Don Juan, the actor and the conqueror are just sketches of a “style of life” that “plays the absurd.”... (full context)