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Ionesco deals with the loneliness and helplessness of man against death from 1960 on. “The King Is Dying”, which is accepted by a lot of critics as his masterpiece, is written by the writer in three weeks when he is ill. He brings to the stage man’s/his own struggle in the throes of death. He even says that he himself acts in the leading role of the play. Throughout the play he presents to the reader his perspective of the situation of mankind around the theme of death in a symbolic setting. To him, there is an instinct of death in the heart of all that is living and they agonize to suppress it. Ionesco is obsessed with death since he is four years old. He is never abandoned by the obsession or fear of death since he realizes that he is a mortal being. He writes this play in order to overcome his fear of death. While treating the tragic end of man, he is influenced by the western philosophy as well as the eastern philosophy, especially by The Book of the Dead of Tibet. The king passes through all the stages of facing death while moving to death step by step: These are rejection, anger, bargain, depression and acceptance. The theme of death is approached in this study with reference to the thoughts of François Chipraz, who defines the tragedy as “man’s struggle with the forces that surpass and destroy him – fate, death, time, sickness, etc.”

Ionesco; The King is Dying; tragic; death; loneliness; kin

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