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SAMUEL BECKETT: ESSENTIAL READING LIST

  • Waiting for Godot - Beckett's classic tragicomedy is known for its lack of plot--"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!" Two old tramps beneath a single tree make jokes to pass the time and reflect on the state of human existence while they wait for Godot--who never comes. A classic play of the absurd.
  • Endgame - Beckett's second play. Whereas Waiting for Godot was concerned with the theme of waiting, Endgame is on the subject of leaving, on the necessity of reaching the door. We have the impression of watching the end of something, the end possibly of the human race.
  • Happy Days - Beckett probes the tenuous circumstances that bind one person to another in this play about Winnie, a woman literally buried in a mound of dirt, and Willie, a man who appears intermittently and moves about Winnie's mound on all fours.
  • Collected Shorter Plays - A collection of short plays and "playlets" including Embers, Cascando, Eh Joe, Not I, Footfalls, and Beckett's celebrated Krapp's Last Tape in which an aging, dissatisfied man records all of his thoughts in a audio diary.
  • Three Novels by Samuel Beckett - Three extraordinary novels by Beckett: Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable.
  • Collected Poems in English and French - A selection of Beckett's poetic writings.
  • If you like these plays, you may also like Three Plays of the Absurd, a collection of modern absurdist comedies with a dark side.

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