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Transcript of Samuel Beckett
• Born in Dublin, Ireland
• Birth date: April 13, 1906 (Good Friday)
• He was born as the second son in the family
• Death date: December 22, 1989 (age 83)
• Died in Paris on Friday
• Cause of Death: Emphysema (respiratory problems)
The Playwright Who Got Stabbed By a Pimp
By: Jaclyn Ngo, Annie Huynh, and Samin Amin
Who is the playwright?
When was he alive?
Samuel Beckett was born in Foxrock, Republic of Ireland and raised in a middle class, Prostestant home, the son of a quantity surveyor and a nurse, he was sent off at the age of 14 to attended the same school which Oscar Wilde atteneded. Beckett lived in Paris for most of his adult life.
Where did he live?
• He lived in a family of four
• His a mother is Mary Beckett
• His father is William Beckett
• His older brother is Frank Beckett
• Mary was a devoted mother for her children
• William, who loved nature, showed them fishing and golf
• He had a childhood of happiness and spoke of "unhappiness around me”/ him
Did the playwright have a family?
Describe the family
Samuel Beckett was born into a middle class family, with his father working as a surveyor and his mother working as a nurse. They managed to send him away for school at the age of 14. His family overall would be labeld as a "Rich Christian Family"
• Beckett lived in the time of World War II
• This was the time of Hitler and the genocide
• He joined the French Resistance
• French Resistance: people who had a common hatred in the German occupation
• The group did not fight but helped allies by giving detailed reports on how to disrupt the German network and their communication with France
• He joined because he had a connection with Jews
• His family and friends were Jews and he found them unique and different
• Passion: made him wanted to “fight” for the right to live for the Jews
Throughout his writing era, his father died which sent him to a psychoanalyst. Samuel Beckett Published many of his plays surrounding World War II. World War II led to Samuel Beckett fleeing to Paris with his soon to be wife where he
Describe Time Period
The war's global scale severely damaged every major economy in the world except for the United States, which thus enjoyed unprecedented economic and political power after 1945
Events and Economic Changes
Waiting for Godot
Why He lived in Paris for So Long
After brilliant studies in Modern Languages, the name of Samuel Beckett was put forward by the Board of Trinity College Dublin to fill the postition of
at the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS).
Beckett arrived in Paris where he was to stay until Spetember 1930.
Beckett's family relationship was not in good condition. In autumn 1937, Beckett fled the family feud for Paris once more.
Reason for staying in Paris so much... According to Beckett, he enjoyed the escape. He wrote after arriving in Paris.
"Nothing changes the relief at being here, lIke coming out of gaol in April"
William Frank Beckett
Maria Hones Roe
Frank Edward Beckett
Suzanne Dechevaux - Dumesnil
Events that occured during the time period:
Theatre of Absurd
2. Artistic Period
3. Examples of Play
1. We choose/you volunteer to go first.
2. Choose a number between 1-30.
3. We will ask you a question corresponding to that number.
4a. Answer the question correctly and you get to spin the
Wheel of Prizes
4b. Answer it incorrectly, you will get punished! Spin the
Wheel of Punishment
5. Most importantly,
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME IN THIS PRESENTATION!!
Samuel Barclay Beckett is a Nobel Prize Award winning author, artist, and playwright. He wrote plays such as,
Waiting for Godot
. He was married to Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil; his only wife. He was influenced by James Joyce and infuenced many succeeding authors and playwrights.
· Samuel Beckett
TYPE OF WORK
· Absurdist drama/comedy
· Originally french; translated into English by Beckett
TIME AND PLACE WRITTEN
· Paris, mid-1950s
DATE OF FIRST PRODUCTION
· London, April 3, 1957
· Grove Press
· No narrator; drama
· There is no climax
· Light and darkness; Youth
Godot is a god-like figure (although he is NOT God) or someone/thing symbolic in the play and he never comes. Vladimir and Estragon have a dependent relationship on each other. So dependent and relying on one another to act or do something, but what they say or seem to want to do is never put into action even though the same things are suggested many times. It also seems like life for them very is repetitive.
Estragon is trying to take off his boots while Vladimir comes in. They sit by a leafless tree and converse. Estragon this says that he wants to leave, but Vladimir tells him that they're waiting for Godot and shouldn't leave just in case he comes. He's unsure if they're even waiting in the right place or even the right time, but he insists that they wait for Godot. Later Pozzo and his slave Lucky comes in. They were on their way to the market because Pozzo was planning on selling his slave. They converse and Pozzo shows Vladimir and Estragon Lucky's talents. He danced and then used a thinking hat to do his thinking. After they departed, a boy comes and tells them that Godot will not being coming today but tomorrow for sure. The boy leaves and Vladimir and Estragon decide they'll leave but instead they stand. In the next Act, they are again standing by the tree (this time with 4-5 leaves on it) waiting for Godot. Pozzo and Lucky come by again, but this time and does not recall being here yesterday, Pozzo is blind. Estragon later asks for Lucky to perform for them again but Pozzo says that he's dumb. After Pozzo and Lucky leaves, the boy comes again. He doesn't remember seeing Estragon and Vladimir yesterday, but he tells them that Godot cannot come today but surely will tomorrow. When the boy leaves they make plans to leave but instead stay where they are as the curtains draw.
The setting for this play is quite simple. There’s a country road, leafless tree, and takes place in the evening.
Willie's wife, she is constantly talking and fills her speech with many references to literature. At one point she feels as if she lost meaning to her speaking.
Married to Winnie and is often offstage- Winnies Foil, he's an ignoring husband
An imaginary couple that Winnie makes up.
A young girl who Winnie tells a story about. It is unclear whether she is fictional or not in the play.
Winnie is always in the search for a listener.
: If she isn't listened to she starts to create charachters to entertain.
-She feels the urgency to be output information and Willie is often not present to hear the information.
Winnie and Willie are married however they aren't a very ordinary couple. Winnie questions life often and is often left babbeling without response from Willie. She starts to imagine a character named Shower or possibly Cooker and tells Willie about it. She jumps to the conclusion that Willie has ed without any knowledge. After the scene changes Winnie tells Willie about Mildred; a girl who is undressing her doll. Winnie crawls out of his hole in an outfit that reminds Winnie of his proposal.
The story takes place in two holes
Willie and Winnie make their homes in two seperate holes and occasionally visit
Willie's hole is often not present
Cyclical, Repetitive Nature of Beginnings and Endings; Emptiness and Loneliness; Theatre of the Absurd
Nell: White night gown with a night cap
Nagg: White Night gown with a night cap
Hamm: Black shades, Black Slacks, White dress shirt and a black sleeveless vest along with dress shoes
Clove: Grey Slacks, Wrinkly off-white dress shirt, suspenders and dress shoes with mix matches socks
Two small high windows
A door with a picture hanging nearby
Armchair on castors with an old sheet
Bare room with grey lighting
Both Ham and Clov do not consider life as "refreshing, They want to die, and they do not want humanity to exsist no longer. The end has already come by the beginning of the play, then the story that Hamm tells Nagg is the point where Hamm tries to figure out when the beginning was. Because the play is set where everything has already ended "endgame",the initial sitution is that the apocalypse has already happened. The characters cannot escape the life they are living unless they die. They have failed to come to terms with it. Nell is the only one that recgonzies that it is the end, and she is rewarded with death. In the end , the conclusion of the play is ambigous, but what is especially apparent in this closing scene is how little matters if Clove stays of leaves. The end happened long ago, and Hamm and Clovare defeated either way. There is no point in life.
Samin as Hamm
Jaclyn as Nagg
Annie as Clov
The setting is in Hamm's room, it a bare with grey lighting. There are two small windows with curtains, a door and two ashbins.
Space is confined
This was the first full length play after his famous play, Waiting for Godot. This play was in 1958. It was considered as an example of theatrical “minimalist” and influenced the 20th century. Samuel Beckett had first written it in French then translated to English even though his native language wasn’t French. He wrote in a foreign so that words and writing the play can be written without style. Since it was written after the World War II, this play was considered “bizarre and cruel”.
When there's less things placed onstage, the more important it becomes.
· Hamm; Clov
· At times Hamm; the environment; death
· Modern day
· A hole near the sea
POINT OF VIEW
· The audience empathizes most with Clov, though we spend the most time with Hamm
· Clov returns as Hamm soliloquizes
· Play; present tense
· Clov frequently threatens to leave, and Hamm often tells him to
· Absurdly comic, philosophical
- Hamm is the protagonist of the play, though his unlikable demeanor at times makes him the antagonist to his servant, Clov. Blind, immobilized by old age in his wheeled chair, Hamm believes no one suffers more than he does. To him, there is no cure for being on earth, especially not in the dank hole where he also rules over his father, Nagg, and mother, Nell.
- Clov is the other protagonist of the play, the servant to Hamm despite his own infirmity. He was taken in by Hamm as a child, and the play's tension pits Clov's desire to leave against his obligation to stay with Hamm (an obligation he questions many times). He performs various tasks for his master, such as wheeling him around and reporting on the landscape outside the windows.
- Nagg is Nell's husband and Hamm's father. Contained in an ashbin next to his similarly trapped wife, he emerges now and then to cry for food or to try unsuccessfully to kiss Nell and tell her the same story he always tells. At times he is childlike, barely verbal, but he can be profound and articulate.
- Nell is Nagg's husband and Hamm's mother. She seems most resigned to their lives of routine, calling the daily attempt to kiss Nagg a "farce." Though her part is minimal, she seems to be the one reason Nagg keeps living and stands as the sole example of healthy love in the play.
Language and Communication
Dialouge in the play is the the way that the characters keep up their hope.
Characters speak because they feel that they have too
Compassion and Forgiveness
Not a lot of compassion and forgiveness in this play.
Characters are extremely cruel to each other.
Complete isolation is a big chunk of the play.
Competition between the characters (Who feels the most isolated)
Ham threatens Clov that if he leaves Ham, Ham will be the one who would feel most isolated.
Nagg wishes total isolation for Ham so that Ham would call his name out of necessity not just because he feels like it.
Characters in the Endgame feel defeated.
Their situation is hopeless ( They will die either way)
There is no sign that there is another life to come.
- If you read more of Beckett's work, you will find that every single one of his characters is, in one way or another, suffering. In his mid-twenties, when Beckett was suffering from severe depression, he began to read the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer proposed that the world was grounded in suffering. He believed that our individual wills (drives, desires, etc.) only bring us more pain and torment, so desire is something to be fought rather than followed.
Suffering is a theme explored very deeply in Endgame. Beckett imagined nightmarish situations for his characters and then explored how they might deal with them. It is one of the most fundamental themes of his work.
THEATRE OF ABSURD
Beckett often gets classed in the "Theater of the Absurd."
He disliked the label. Because it sounded like he had a thesis about life (i.e., Life is absurd). For Beckett, the whole point was that we don't know whether or not life is absurd. So, our theme is not a thesis about whether or not life is absurd. It is about what the characters seem to be saying that it certainly seems absurd right now.
LIFE, CONSCIOUSNESS, EXSITENCE
Beckett was obsessed with the idea of humanism and what it meant to exsist in a world that seemed as if there were no goals.
Beckett was obsessed with the flaws of the ideals of 'humanism.'
Myth of Sisyphus
The Theatre of Absurd is the a set up for particular plays of absurdist fiction wrtitten by several European playwrights in the late 1950s.
Theatre of Absurd became as a reaction to WWII.
Based upon existential philosphy combined with dramatic elements to create a style of theatre which can not be logically explained, life is in one word ABSURD!!
Samuel Beckett is probably the most well known of the absurdist playwrights becuase of his work Waiting for Godot. Beckett's plays focus on the themes of the uselessness of human action, and the failure of the human race to communicate.
Along side Beckett in the theatre genre of absurdity, is playwritght Eugene Ionesco. Ionesco's main focus on the futitly of communication so the language of his play often reflects this by absurdity of life by making his characters comical and unable to control their own exsistence.
Although Sameul Beckett and Eugene Ionesco are two of the most famous absurdist playwright in the genre. In his plays,
• Main character
• Called Didi by Estragon
• Called Mr. Albert from the boy
• Responsible, protective of Estragon
• Determined to wait for Godot
• Talks about suicide with Estragon
• Main character
• Called Gogo by Vladimir
• Weak, helpless, gets protection by Didi
• Poor memory
• Spends time with Didi (boot on/off)
• Trivial and serious conversations w/ Didi
• Master of Lucky
• Doesn’t remember meeting Vladimir and Estragon in Act I
• He’s blinded in Act II
• Has no sense of time anymore
• Pozzo’s slave
• Dances and thinks for entertainment in Act I
• When thinking, needs cap/hat
• Mute, dumb, and talentless in Act II
• Appears at the end of each act
• Tells Vladimir that Godot will not show up today but tomorrow for sure
• Act II, says he hasn’t met Vladimir and Estragon in yesterday night/Act I
• A figure/symbol
• The thing/person that Vladimir and Estragon decides to wait for
Samuel Beckett's older brother
Died from lung cancer
Died in 1954
September 1, 1939- September 2, 1945
Caused people to question their beliefs
The start of Hitler's invasions
Global decline of moral character
Over 6 million Jews died
Death of Military men and Civlians topped over 50 million
WWII ended after 6 years in 1945
Hitler wanted world domination
Over 30 countries were involved and over 50 million citizens were killed
Considered the deadly war in history
The genocide started because Hitler wanted a pure race of Germans (Aryans)
Germany, Italy, and Japan joined together to form an alliance as the "Axis Powers"
Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union were allies against Hitler
Born in Dublin on January 2nd, 1882 and started writing poems at 6 years old
He was a prominent Irish writer/author in the 20th century
James has degrees in French and Italian
First Publication: An essay on
When We Dead Awaken
Literacy Innovations: Focused narratives and Indirect style
Joyce started writing
in 1914. This piece later led up to his more innovated works
He published "Portrait of the Artist" in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound.
He got married to Nora Barncle in 1931
Samuel Beckett used some aspects/elements of Joyce's
in his own works which was later known for.
Joyce was Samuel's tutor/mentor
James Joyce died in a surgery on Jan. 13th, 1941 in Swiss City (Zurich, Switerland)
In 1915, the Berlitz School students were drafted into the Astru-Hungarian. Some students protested the Astru-Hungarian so that Joyce could leave. After granting a visa, he relocated to Zurich where he met Ezra Pound. When Joyce met Harriet Shaw Weaver, a publisher, he became Joyce's patron. This allowed him to focus on writing. In 1920, Pound convinced Joyce to move to Paris. He stayed for 20 years and wrote
which was about the perspective of the sleeping life of the people who lived in Dublin.
The Holocaust started in 1933
About 11 million Jews died
Over 1.5 million were children
3.5 million were female
6 million were male
Germany established extermination/concentration camps loacted in Europe
Jews were murdered in gas chambers and even on the journey to concentration camps
Families died from starvation and everyone was seperated from their families
There were very few survivors from families
Even less were able to reunite with their families
"a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will."
A man named Sisyphus was punished by pushing a rock up a mountain. However, soon as he reaches the top, the boulder rolls back down to the bottom. Thus the puishment is eternal.
With this eternal punishment, we would wonder about his state of mind. Would he not go insane from the repeated task? However, he does have moments to himself. As the boulder rolls down, he has a moment to think and contain his insanity. He realizes his absurity of his fate. Sisyphus had an awareness of his fate and how happiness and absurd are interlinked. Some say that he even enjoyed his punishment. (There are also various stories on what his deed was that earned him this imprisonment).
Samuel was more of an outdoor than an indoor type of person.
He enjoyed games since he was rather good at playing them (can be considered athletic).
As a child, he was deemed reckless
Favorite Childhood Game: Throwing himself off the top of a pine tree then at last minute grabbing onto a tree branch.
Out of his family, he was noticed for certain moodiness.
Samuel would also often go to his tower and read books.
His parents forced him to be sociable.
Samuel went to Trinity College on October 1923 and graduated in 1927.
He disliked going to lectures because they were a waste of his time
He found an interest in modern languages
Later earned his Bachelor's Degree in French and Italian.
Developed a love for words and poetry along the way
Then took a teaching position in Campbell College in Belfast
Later moved to Paris where he was introduced to James Joyce who became a big influence on him.
When he went back to Dublin, he took on a teaching position in Trinity College.
He mocked the academic world by playing a practical joke as his way to resign his teaching position.
Samuel found the academics as disillusional.
He shortly resigned from his position as a teacher in Trinity College with a prank.
When teaching his class, he made up a French author named Jean du Chas
Chas supposedly founded the literary movement called "Concentrism".
He taught a lecture on Chas and Concentrism to mock the academic world.
Suzanne and Samuel were dating when they had to flee from the Nazis duing the WWII.
At that time Beckett was a part of the French Resistance.
He hid in a village in Sounthern France with his girlfriend.
They remained hidden for over 2 years.
In 1961, they tied the knot and got married.
Followed many western christian churches
Showed Samuel golfing and fishing
Fled from his family due to bad relationships
Died in 1943
proceeded to write many
Was a loving mother with good intentions
The historical context in "Theatre of the Absurd" sprung from the social, political, and economic change and issues.
Fascism is the idea that imposes strict social and economical mesayres as a method of empowering the government and taking away citizens rights.
(of an idea or suggestion) wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.
How it Relates
Just like the Myth of Sisyphus, Samuel Beckett's style of writing followed this similarly. As we know, Sisyphus has a repeated punishment and there are are no changes. In his plays, he also puts the characters through a looping never ending cycle, thus his plays never reaches a climax.