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The Absurd HeroSisyphus is the absurd hero This man sentenced to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain and then watching its descent is the epitome of the absurd hero according to Camus In retelling the Myth of Sisyphus Camus is able to create an extremely powerful image with imaginative force which sums up in an emotional sense the body of the intellectual discussion which precedes it in the book We are told that Sisyphus is the absurd hero as much through his passions as through his torture His scorn of the gods his hatred of death and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing p89 Sisyphus is conscious of his plight and therein lies the tragedy For if during the moments of descent he nourished the hope that he would yet succeed then his labour would lose its torment But Sisyphus is clearly conscious of the extent of his own misery It is this lucid recognition of his destiny that transforms his torment into his victory It has to be a victory for as Camus saysI leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain One always finds ones burden again But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks He too concludes that all is well This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile Each atom of that stone each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain in itself forms a world The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a mans heart One must imagine Sisyphus happy p91Sisyphus life and torment are transformed into a victory by concentrating on his freedom his refusal to hope and his knowledge of the absurdity of his situation In the same way Dr Rieux is an absurd hero in The Plague for he too is under sentence of death is trapped
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