He was born in 1906, Dublin, into a Protestant family, he become a lecturer at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, so he settled there, he entered in contact with James Joyce and his circle. Beckett published a collection of short stories: “More Pricks Than Kicks”, novel, and “Murphy”, essay. In the World War II he joined the French resistance, and to escape from the Gestapo police, he pretends to be a farmer. He wrote a partly autobiographical novel “Watt”, and a trilogy written in French and traduced by himself in English: “Molloy”, “Malone Dies” and “The Unnameable”. He’s the father of the Theatre of Absurd, with “Waiting for Godot”, with this particular theatre he eliminates every kind of theatric conventions, he wrote in French to force himself to use less words, to express and explore human condition, incommunicability, loneliness. For example in “Endgame”, the protagonist Hamm can’t walk or sit down, his parents have not legs, only their servant can walk. In “Happy days” there is a woman buried to the waist and the neck, and a man who can only crawl.
WAITING FOR GODOT
In Beckett’s theatre there is a terrible static world because things never change, characters are moribund or handicapped creatures, there is no plot, or scenery, characters are imprisoned in a single place. About the time, in Beckett’s plays there is no past (tradition) or future (progress), there are only a series of repetitions, and characters are obsessed with the problem of time, they forced to fill the time with futile dialogues, while they are waiting someone or something that can save them. Beckett reduces everything to the essential, clothes, characters, their social status, scenery, because he believes in French existentialism of Sartre: there is no meaning of life, the universe is different, without meaning. The language is fragmented, broken, disintegrated.
It’s about two French tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, who spend their days waiting for a mysterious Mr Godot who can save them from their miserable situation. In the ACT I they meet another couple, Pozzo, the master and his servant Lucky who is driven with a rope and a whip. Pozzo is obsessed by the time, he continually looks at his watch. In the ACT II Pozzo becomes blind, Lucky dumb, because to express miserable human conditions the physical appearance is compromised by Beckett. Every day a messenger boy sent by MR Godot says that “Mr Godot won’t come today, but surely tomorrow”. Characters think about suicide, but they fail, they cannot leave that place, they are “Waiting for Godot”.
This is the final scene in Act I, in the passage, Pozzo and Lucky are leaving the stage and Vladimir and Estragon talk about useless things. Characters have not role, they are waiting for Godot, and in the meanwhile they talk with a repetitive and concise language, then a boy comes in the stage and he says that Mr Godot will not came today, he will come tomorrows, besides, Vladimir is friendly with him while Estragon is very rude, maybe because the boy comes every day to say the same thing, that Mr Godot wouldn’t be come. From his words, we can understand that Mr Godot is a bad person, because the boy lives in a barn, with his brother who is beaten by Godot. There are many sentences express the loss of values and pessimism, like at the line 23, Estragon says “Very likely. They all change. Only we can’t”, or at line 196 Estragon says “It’s not worth while now”. Life has no sense, there is no hope for them. In the passage the time is void , is something to fill with useless dialogues and actions, structure is circular and very repetitive, because the repetition underline the sense of void. With the passing of time they decay physically so they ask if they are always the same, there is the concept of suicide, indeed Estragon wants a rope, and, like Joyce, Beckett inserts in the drama the concept of paralysis, because characters don’t move, don’t follow a choice. The relationship between Didi and Gogo is very strong, they are interlinked, because they want apart but they will never apart.