Post narrative drama : Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot'.
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BA in English Literature and Drama
Dublin Business School
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Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot has baffled critics and audiences alike since its first production in 1953. Beckett's radical new tragic-comedy formula re-wrote the theatrical rule book and Waiting for Godot became the definitive play of the 20th century. So how is it that a play seemingly about nothing could capture the imaginations of so many? This thesis will argue that Waiting for Godot is a Rhizome text which proliferates unpredictably while eternally recreating itself through a constant dialogue between the audience and the play as it spreads itself out creating myriad new relation and interpretations. Much of the theoretical ideas and language which carries this argument forward are the psychoanalytical theories of Jacques Lacan and the philosophy of Giles Deleuze. Both of which will be combined with relevant critical writings centred in and around Beckett's work and specifically on the topic of Waiting for Godot. Ultimately I hope to prove that Waiting for Godot with its molecular structure continually deconstructs all ordering attempts by the audience .This deconstruction takes place in a gap between the signifying signs of the play in performance (or as text) and the audiences' attempts to stabilise a definitive meaning behind the absurdist chaos of the play. Ultimately it will be argued that this will break down the relationship between the play as ritual and the audience as it triggers what Jacques Lacan calls the Gaze. Godot achieves this gaze by mimicking the audiences internal logic of desire and mirroring it back to them through the static events of the play while thus exposing the connections between the order of the unconscious ( desire) and the internal social structures of powers (or the closed structures of social repression).