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Samuel Beckett: The Plays

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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SCHEDULE 2 Oct               Introduction 9 Oct               Endgame 16 Oct              Happy Days 23 Oct              All That Fall 30 Oct              Krapp’s Last Tape 6 Nov              Words and Music 13 Nov             Cascando 20 Nov             Play 27 Nov             Not I 4 Dec               That Time 11 Dec             Footfalls 18 Dec             A Piece of Monologue 8 Jan                Final screening

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The course is designed as a wide exploration of stage and radio plays written by Beckett from the 1950s to the late 1970s. A central objective is to follow the trajectories taken by recurrent themes in these plays such as voices resounding in the head, fighting back and/or piecing together memories, or the presence of a torturing external gaze. Close attention will be paid to the way in which Beckett often stretches his medium to the utmost limit: it will become manifest how radically Beckett changed the face of modern theatre with his fundamental experiments. The course will combine textual analysis with an examination of the performative aspects of the play text and the specific forms of approaching its audience. Most items will be screened or made available in audio format.


Credit requirements include active in-class participation, a 15-20 min in-class presentation, and a final essay (min. length 3 000 words). Students wishing to be awarded an exam grade in the course are required to submit, in addition to the above, a graded research paper (min. length 5 000 words). Essay topics must be consulted with the instructor in advance. The formal arrangement of essays must follow the Department guidelines (essay-guidelines.pdf ( Deadline for all essays: 18 January 2024.

Study programmes