Lawrence Graver's Beckett: Waiting for Godot (Landmarks of World Literature PDF

By Lawrence Graver

This 2004 quantity bargains a complete serious examine of Samuel Beckett's first and most famed dramatic paintings, watching for Godot, which has develop into some of the most usually mentioned, and influential performs within the background of the theatre. Lawrence Graver discusses the play's heritage and offers an in depth research of its originality and contrast as a landmark of recent theatrical artwork. He studies a number of the transformations among Beckett's unique French model and his English translation, and discusses the releasing impression of anticipating Godot on such very important playwrights as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.

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Extra info for Beckett: Waiting for Godot (Landmarks of World Literature (New))

Example text

Although the urgency of the discomfort is paramount, the cadenced, almost lilting repetition of the word ‘hurts’, and each man’s deadpan refusal to reveal if he knows that he is playing a verbal game, creates the effect of ingenious artifice. The repartee admits the twinges of pain and transforms them into something else: a brisk sparring match that elicits a smile and an affectionate nod of recognition about human vulnerability and self-absorption. One can understand from this scene (as well as from the entire play) why Roger Blin once described his dream cast as Charlie Chaplin for Vladimir, Buster Keaton for Estragon, and Charles Laughton for Pozzo.

And so might a typical spectator or reader. Thinking aloud and making no allowances for a listener, Vladimir runs on about the possibility of repentance, but when his friend asks what exactly they might feel contrite about, he casually insists that they wouldn’t have to go into detail. ’, a proposition that draws forth from Vladimir a hearty laugh which he quickly stifles, pressing his hand to his genitals and contorting his face. Here again the mix of the physical and the spiritual is unusually evocative.

Given the denuded scene and the destitution of the characters, every playgoer will smile comfortably at the broad irony here, but what then happens complicates matters considerably. ’ Vladimir: Estragon: Vladimir: Estragon: We can’t. Why not? We’re waiting for Godot. (despairingly). Ah! ) You’re sure it was here? (F, 14; G, 10) On one hand, we are given vital specific information: these two seedy men are waiting for someone named Godot, and Estragon’s tone suggests the possibility that they have done it before and had been disappointed.

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