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Waiting for Godot


The theater of absurd



Samuel Beckett was an irish playwrighter, writer, poet and translate. He was a loner and didn’t enjoy being around other people. He was really keen on literature, especially italian and french literature. He loved Dante and wrote many essays on him. There’s bridge in Dublin that was built in his honor.

Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett first started to write in English. He won a prize of 10 pounds thanks to a poem named Whoroscope that he published in 1930. In 1935 he published the novel Murphy, which gave him a little notoriety but after moving to Paris he changed his writing language to french. After the war he moved back to Paris where he wrote his most famous novel, "Molloy". After that first tiny success, he published “Malone Dies” and “The Unnamable”. The real success came after the publication of a play called “Waiting for Godot”. After a few years he published the masterpiece that granted him the Nobel prize for Literature, “Endagame”. His plays gave a huge impact to the theater of absurd and influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter.

The work of Samuel Beckett

This term was coined by Martin Esslin. These authors want to represent the philosophical concept of the absurdity of existence. This concept was elaborated by the exponents of Existentialism. These authors write their stories and playwright as an illogical succession of events, without any apparent meaning. They actually abandon the rational construction and the logical-consequential language of works. What the theater of the absurd really wants to show is the alienation of contemporary man and his crisis, loneliness and the impossibility of any communication. He only staged the man’s failure in all its concreteness. In the older works the focus is on the impossibility of living a happy present, and so the strength is to contemplate a past of fullness now concluded.

The theater of absurd



Proust and James Joyce

While Samuel Beckett was living in Paris, he began to attend literary circles and in one of those meetings he met James Joyce. In this first period of his career he is influenced a lot by him. After the death of his father he traveled around the world and became interested in psychoanalysis by studying Marcel Proust.

The influences on Samuel Beckett's work

He was born in 1913 in a Dublin’s suburb named Foxrock in a middle-class family. He studied at the Portora Royal School of Enniskillen and then at the Trinity College in Dublin. In 1928 he graduated in Modern Literature in Italian and French. Thanks to a scholarship he moved to Paris.After the death of his father in 1933, Beckett went to London, France, Italy and Germany.In 1938 he moved to France, where he met his future wife, Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, a woman several years older than him. In 1939 the Second World War broke out. Beckett took part in the conflict by working as a courier for the French resistance, but soon was forced to leave. Beckett and his wife took refuge in a farm near Avignone, where he continued to contribute to the French resistance by hiding weapons in the back of his house.

In 1945 he returned to Ireland and there he worked as a volunteer for the Irish Red Cross and was sent to France to work as a translator in a military hospital.He won a Nobel prize in Literature in 1969 which he did not collect in person to avoid giving a public speech at the award ceremony. He died in Paris in 1989.

Samuel Beckett is considered the greatest Irish playwright, author and poet of the twentieth century

This play was originally written in French, but then it was translated into English by the same author. The setting is really poor and only consistent in one tree.There are two men, Vladimir and Estragon waiting for a third, Godot, who never comes. Godot is viewed as the parallel in the life of the men that wait for something or someone that is going to save them. This play is structured in two acts. In the first act another two characters enter the setting; Pozzo and Lucky.

Waiting for Godot