Ubu Roi is Alfred Jarry’s offensive foray into experimentalism, using caricature and parodying Shakespeare to create a surrealist examination of power and greed. Papa Ubu is a poor Captain of the Dragoons, serving King Wenceslas of Poland. Obsessed with food and money, he is easily convinced by Mama Ubu to kill the king and take the throne. Papa Ubu enlists the help of another Captain (and his lackeys), and together they publicly kill the king. Once Papa Ubu takes the throne, he realizes he wants more and his greed is insatiable. But the murdered king’s son Bougerlas is returning to avenge his father, forcing Papa Ubu to again prepare for battle. Filled with Shakespearean allusions, offensive phrases, and symbolist images, Ubu Roi is a fundamental play of the dramatic canon.
Ubu Roi guide sections