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Title: Beckett‘s absurdist theatre : the irrationality of the human condition in Waiting for Godot and Endgame
Authors: Godhwani, Vikesh
Keywords: Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989
Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989. Endgame -- Criticism and interpretation
Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989. Waiting for Godot -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Through an in-depth analysis of Samuel Beckett‘s Waiting for Godot and Endgame, this dissertation seeks to show how his use of the absurd allows for an accurate presentation of the irrationality of the human condition. The introduction places Beckett‘s theatre within a cultural and philosophical context in order to provide an understanding of what is truly meant by the absurd. Works by philosophers, including Maurice Blanchot, Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre, are referenced to establish key concepts that are common to the plays within the movement of the Theatre of the Absurd. Martin Esslin‘s seminal critical commentary is used to give a background on Beckett‘s influences and on his contemporaries who were writing in a similar yet distinct style. The literature review offers further critical appreciation specifically in terms of Samuel Beckett‘s theatre. The rest of the dissertation is a critical analysis of Waiting for Godot and Endgame in connection to three main themes; Language, Inertia and Relationships. The themes are looked at separately in order to show how Beckett manipulates the traditional theatrical notions of dialogue, action and character interaction, so as to present his vision of reality; a world characterised by absurdity. The analysis is ultimately concerned with the failure of speech, the impossibility of purposeful action and the superficiality of relationships in both plays. This establishes that rationality is only illusionary in Beckett‘s theatre as his plays deal with man‘s irrational self.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2014
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2014

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