This session had two aims: to have a recap on all of the playwrights that we have looked at so far, followed by looking at Samuel Beckett. The purpose of recapping on the playwrights from previous lessons was to see how much we have been able to learn over the past couple of months. To complete this task, we were given a timeline, some spaces had a list of plays and many others were blank, we had to fill in the names of the playwrights and some of the plays based on the date. We were put in pairs for this task, I was paired with Jack and we were able to fill in a lot of the blanks. I found it easier writing the playwright based on the date written and not the play, for example, Oscar Wilde in the late 19th century and John Godber in the 1980’s. There were some which we didn’t know as we had not looked at these playwrights before, for example, Sean O’Casey.
One other playwright written on there who we hadn’t previously looked at was Samuel Beckett, he was the playwright we focused on afterwards. By the end of the session I would have liked to have learned more about Beckett and just like with previous playwrights, look at a section of one of his works.
Samuel Beckett was born in Ireland on 13th April 1906 and died 22nd December 1989 in Paris after moving there just before the second world war. Like Oscar Wilde, Beckett attended Portora Royal School and like Harold Pinter, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1).
Some of Beckett’s writings include:
- Endgame (1957)
- Happy Days (1960)
- Eh Joe (1965)
- Footfalls (1975)
- Catastrophe (1982) (2)
The play we focused on for this session was ‘Waiting For Godot’ which was written in 1957 and in order to look at different sections of the play, we were split into groups. I was paired with Emma and we looked at a section in act 2.
We read the sections in chronological order and there were some sections which I struggled to concentrate on because there was a lack of excitement in the conversations. This was agreed within the group but because of this, I feel that we fell into a trap, because there was little content in the conversations we started to over examine it. Despite this, I enjoyed the small extract I was given because the argument between Estragon and Vladimir was able to build and myself and Emma used our voices and characterisation to create a tense argument.
In conclusion, I was able to work well with my pairings to remember everything we had learned so far, in order to keep this information, I will ensure that I keep looking back at my notes. In terms of the play, I was able to understand the concept, however, the lack of content in some of the conversations meant that I didn’t find Beckett as exciting as previous playwrights.