Samuel Beckett And The Theatre Of The Absurd

694 words - 3 pages

What is the basic, most fundamental parts, methods, and ideals of human life and existence? Samuel Beckett’s highly viewed works try to answer this question. Beckett’s unusual and often action-less plays lead the reader on “our desperate search for meaning, our individual isolation, and the gulf between our desires and the language in which they find expression,” and determines that Beckett is a master of absurdist literature (Davies). Despite the popularity of Beckett’s works, little scholarly information can be found about them. However, the literary critic Martin Esslin has written a large amount of information about Beckett and his works, including the genre known as The Theatre of the ...view middle of the document...

Waiting For Godot gives this idea of circularity in Act II through Estragon forgetting the things he came across or did in Act I, such as encountering the tree, or meeting Pozzo and Lucky. In Endgame, Clov states, "Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished" at the very beginning of the play, leading to the idea that Endgame ends where it began (Burkman 24). Waiting For Godot also provides this conclusion in its resolution, having Estragon and Vladimir waiting for a new day, in the same place as where they began the play.
Plots in absurdist plays are also different compared to plots of other literary types in that the action has extreme imagery. Martin Esslin states “The action in a play of the Theatre of the Absurd is not to tell a story but to communicate a pattern of poetic images.” Esslin then compares this to Waiting for Godot by stating that the events that occur in Waiting for Godot are part of Beckett’s intuition, not constituting a plot or story (403). Essif claims that “Absence,...

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