He was Born in Dublin in 1906. Took his degree in language in particular French and Italian. He settled in Paris during the second World War and joined the resistance. After the war he wrote a lot, not only plays, even if he is famous for “Waiting for Godot”, “Molloy (novel). In 1952 “Waiting for Godot was published in French, then in 1955 translated in English. In 1969 he received the Nobel Prize.
Waiting for Godtot
* Plot: it is divided into two acts. In a desert landscape with a bare tree and a road. There are two vagabonds figures like tramps: Estragon and Vladimir. They are waiting because they have an appointment with Mr Godot. They talk because they’re not sure about the place and the time of the appointment, and they don’t know if he will come.
In the second act the situation remains the same but as Godot didn’t arrive, the two tramps decide to suicide and they talk about they ca do this, about how to do this.
Estragon and Vladimir are not real characters in the traditional sense and they aren’t described physically, according to their personality, they are fixed and they are complementary because each one depends on the other to have a sense of his existence, infact they fear to be left alone too long. They have no memory because they have no history. They are allegorical figures representing the existence of man and its absurdity.
The other couple (Lucky and Pozzo) represent a negative human relationship because one is the master and the other is the slave.
Godot: it’s the “meaning” which lacks in the life of men
* Structure of the play: The play is circular, because the initial situation is the same of the end. There isn’t action and there is only the repetition of the same situation endlessly. The language is reduced to repetitions, jokes, games of words. They talk but they can’t speak because they don’t communicate. The language is not able to cause action.
Beckett defines the play tragicomic.
Tragic elements: the plays is a representation of the absurdity of the condition of man, the idea of the suicide, the landscape (desert, bare, desolating), the two characters are trapped in the situation of waiting and they can’t escape
Comic elements: There is a gap between what they say and what they do, the way all this tragedy is shown, every attempt to escape from the absurdity of existence ands in a comic situation.