‘At me too someone is looking...’: Coercive Systems in Beckett’s Theatre.

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Beckett’s writing- in prose and theatre- is commonly imagined as a series of exercises in decay and diminution. His protagonists exist in a world in which all systems decay, and where, because of this endemic system failure, they are progressively unable to express the reality of their situation through systems of discourse. This article argues that, although, this may be true for Beckett’s prose pieces, it is not true of his theatrical works. Beckett’s plays rely for their effects on the fact that theatre itself can be thought of as a coercive system- one that does not decay, but which persists, even as the protagonists trapped within it are worn down to nothing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-238
Number of pages11
JournalSamuel Beckett Today - Aujourd hui
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2018


  • Beckett
  • Deleuze
  • systems
  • prose
  • theatre


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