Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett (Dublin, April 13, 1906 – Paris, December 22, 1989) was an Irish writer, dramatist and novelist.
Samuel Beckett, next to Eugene Jonesko, is the most prominent representative of a modern drama, in which there are no essential peculiarities that constitute a dramatic gender, or these features are greatly reduced. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 for his book Waiting for Godot, which gained him worldwide fame and became synonymous with avant-garde drama and avant-garde theater.
Since 1938 he has been living in Paris, and after the war, he started writing in French. Concerned by the problem of human existence and alienation of modern life, Beckett in all his works gives an utterly pessimistic vision of the world and portrays life as a game of higher powers in which man is reduced to physiological and spiritual vegetation, to meaningless “duration” filled with suffering and futile awaiting salvation. To show the absurdity of such a life and human helplessness, Becket leaves a traditional romanesque fabric and a common dramatic plot and replaces them with a series of scenes that repeat themselves with small variants, and depicts characters grotesque and terrible puppets (mute, blind, deaf, etc.) which are moved by some meaningless rhythm within their limited life cycle (street, crossroad, room) or are even disabled in that movement (placed in garbage cans or buried in the sand). The term is adapted to these absurd situations and suggests them by pointless repetition of more or less the same dialogues or long internal monologues, in which the language is freed from the usual grammatical structure.
He was a friend of James Joyce, who was a personal secretary. In 1969, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is most important as a playwright and one of the main representatives of the “Absurd Theater”. He also wrote several novels, but the world’s success was achieved with dramas.
The dominant, if not the only, theme of Beckett’s drama is absurd, which serves as a starting point to build the vision of absolute desolation through which strange creatures are moving. The focus is on man’s position in the absurd world, and this position is tragic. His tragedy stems from the knowledge of his insignificance, taciturnity and impotence. People of Becket’s drama are deprived of basic vital functions: they are blind, deaf, immobile; only their heads from the trash cans (man at the mortuary of life) or from the ground (in death to the throat, death is more certain than life). Human insignificance is strongly emphasized by the types and their appearance: they are tramps, tears, dirty, gloomy, lost, without any perspective or hope. Human nullity is suggested by the deprivation of heroes of individuality to the extent that they bear common names (common nouns): First Woman, Second Woman, Man. In his plays, sometimes there are no people: in the drama No, the heroes are the Mouth and the Listener.
Beckett died on 22 December.
Waiting for Godot (1952)
Krapp’s Last Tape (1958)
Malone dies (1952)
Stories and texts for nothing (1955)
How it is (1961).