Self in the Work of Samuel Beckett Analytical Essay by Harvard Grad

Self in the Work of Samuel Beckett
This essay concerns the existential quandaries that the characters of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett experience in his most famous work, "Waiting for Godot."
# 56065 | 4,057 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2000 | US
Published on Feb 13, 2005 in Drama and Theater (World) , English (Argument) , English (Analysis)

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This essay begins creatively, but it is a formal essay. It is primarily an analysis of "Waiting for Godot," although it includes references to "Endgame" and "Krapp's Last Tape." The author argues that the characters in "Godot" ignore the possibilities inherent in suffering. Eastern religious writing, on the other hand, includes possibility as an existential option, whereas Beckett does not. This is the difference between the two "approaches," and the author is critical of Beckett for failing to acknowledge existential possibility as achieved through self-awareness.

From the Paper:

"We find ourselves in some deeply existential quandary: a problem beyond inquiry or conclusion; a problem that extends into the void of time and space; that avoids the very title of "problem". We are confined to a box, in Endgame, we are on a dead tree stump off an abandoned road, in Godot, and we are on a bare stage with remnants of a former life or two, in Krapp's Last Tape. The resounding question is perhaps: where are we; and the resounding answer: we don't know. The resounding question is perhaps: who are we? The resounding answer is perhaps: "Je ne sais pas, monsieur (Esslin, 36)." And Mr. Beckett presents.... the universe. And Mr. Beckett presents...the human condition. And Mr. Beckett presents...existence. And Mr. Beckett presents..."

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