waiting for godot

Essay by decenu509College, Undergraduate May 2014

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[the role of (a forgetful) memory in "waiting for godot"]

Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

Barclay was born in 1906 near Dublin and attended Portora Royal School and Trinity College - a university in Dublin, where he studied French and Italian. As a Protestant born in Ireland he could identify with neither the English nor the Irish, as a child brought up on the border between his mother's love and domination, he experienced the confusion of the tension between opposite feelings and eventually he found a way to escape both his mother and his motherland in his exile .

Beckett's wanderings around Europe and his attempts to reconcile with Ireland, Dublin and his mother eventually make him settle in France and write in French to avoid cliches, tics and influences that the use of English would bring to his work.

He reduced his works to almost unrecognisable representations of the real life of common people. What critics labelled as the "threatre of the absurd" rooted in existentialsm is not what Beckett aims at. He puts real life on the stage by writing what he sees and feels without comments on and interpretation of his works, which contributes to their ambiguity and to timelessness. His silence avoids the delimitation of his works. His techniques meant to strip off his works of specific cultural elements resulted in multileveled alienation : spatial, temporal, indetitary, linguistic, psychological towards a misleading simplicity.

"Beckett's composition of the work is not something that

Proceeds from an abstract idea and skeletal structure at

the outset...