EN 2220 – Drama
March 20, 2013
Waiting for Godot
WWII- the most effective and overwhelming demonstration of human self-
destructive nature. The enormous human and material loss, endless stories of
brutality and a sense of hopelessness for human kind.
Connections with a Doll’s House, and with a Servant of Two Masters.
Second World War was worse than the fist.
Holocaust, Stalin’s mass murderers of political opponents and basic destruction
of the moral fiber of the society – posed questions to many intellectuals and
artists of the meaning of human race. All the structure that kept a sense of order
– religion, government, education, science – failed to contextualize WWII in any
meaningful way. Of course there were and political explanations – but they fell
short in giving an overall explanation for what happened.
Similarly to Berthold Brecht after WWII - who found hope in creating a new
socially conscious theater (Epic Theater), Beckett was responding to the
catastrophe of WWII and created a theater that went beyond such hope.
Theater context – The history of 20 century Theater is an endless process of
experimentation. Many artists found themselves unhappy with the state of theater
– realism and especially frilly musicals, melodramas and other genres inherited
from the 19 century just did not fit the world post WWII.
Some movements – Expressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Symbolism, Epic
Theatre, Futurism, Biomechanics, etc. are all attempts by various artists to