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Introduction & Overview of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

This Study Guide consists of approximately 77 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Waiting for Godot.
This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Waiting for Godot Summary & Study Guide Description

Waiting for Godot Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

Introduction

Though difficult and sometimes baffling to read or (even) view, Waiting for Godot is nonetheless one of the most important works of our time. It revolutionized theatre in the twentieth century and had a profound influence on generations of succeeding dramatists, including such renowned contemporary playwrights as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. After the appearance of Waiting for Godot, theatre was opened to possibilities that playwrights and audiences had never before imagined.

Initially written in French in 1948 as En Attendant Godot, Beckett's play was published in French in October of 1952 before its first stage production in Paris in January of 1953. Later translated into English by Beckett himself as Waiting for Godot, the play was produced in London in 1955 and in the United States in 1956 and has been produced worldwide. Beckett's play came to be considered an essential example of what Martin Esslin later called "Theatre of the Absurd," a term that Beckett disavowed but which remains a handy description for one of the most important theatre movements of the twentieth century.

"Absurdist Theatre" discards traditional plot, characters, and action to assault its audience with a disorienting experience. Characters often engage in seemingly meaningless dialogue or activities, and, as a result, the audience senses what it is like to live in a universe that doesn't "make sense." Beckett and others who adopted this style felt that this disoriented feeling was a more honest response to the post World War n world than the traditional belief in a rationally ordered universe. Waiting for Godot remains the most famous example of this form of drama.

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Waiting for Godot Study Guide
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Waiting for Godot from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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