ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts

Waiting for Godot / Mark Taper Forum

Beckett’s plays are not written along traditional lines with conventional plot and time and place references. Instead, he focuses on essential elements of the human condition in dark humorous ways. This style of writing has been called “Theater of the Absurd” by Martin Esslin, referring to poet Albert Camus’ concept of “the absurd.” The plays focus on human despair and the will to survive in a hopeless world that offers no help in understanding.

    Richard Avedon

    Samuel Beckett
    writer / playwright

    Samuel Barclay Beckett was born on Good Friday, April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. Young Samuel attended Earlsfort House School in Dublin, then at 14, he went to Portora Royal School, the same school attended by Oscar Wilde. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in 1927. Referring to his childhood, Samuel Beckett, once remaking, “I had little talent for happiness.” In his youth he would periodically experience severe depression keeping him in bed until mid-day. This experience would later influence his writing.

    After the World War II, Samuel Beckett was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery during his time in the French resistance. He settled in Paris and began his most prolific period as a writer. In five years, he wrote Eleutheria, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, the novels Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, and Mercier et Camier, two books of short stories, and a book of criticism.

    Samuel Beckett continued to write throughout the 1970s and 80s mostly in a small house outside Paris. There he could give total dedication to his art evading publicity. In 1969, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on December 22, 1989.

    [Edited via Biography.com]

    Samuel Beckett
    writer / playwright

    Samuel Barclay Beckett was born on Good Friday, April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. Young Samuel attended Earlsfort House School in Dublin, then at 14, he went to Portora Royal School, the same school attended by Oscar Wilde. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in 1927. Referring to his childhood, Samuel Beckett, once remaking, “I had little talent for happiness.” In his youth he would periodically experience severe depression keeping him in bed until mid-day. This experience would later influence his writing.

    After the World War II, Samuel Beckett was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery during his time in the French resistance. He settled in Paris and began his most prolific period as a writer. In five years, he wrote Eleutheria, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, the novels Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, and Mercier et Camier, two books of short stories, and a book of criticism.

    Samuel Beckett continued to write throughout the 1970s and 80s mostly in a small house outside Paris. There he could give total dedication to his art evading publicity. In 1969, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on December 22, 1989.

    [Edited via Biography.com]

    Waiting for Godot / Mark Taper Forum

    Beckett’s plays are not written along traditional lines with conventional plot and time and place references. Instead, he focuses on essential elements of the human condition in dark humorous ways. This style of writing has been called “Theater of the Absurd” by Martin Esslin, referring to poet Albert Camus’ concept of “the absurd.” The plays focus on human despair and the will to survive in a hopeless world that offers no help in understanding.