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Samuel Beckett


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       Samuel Beckett was an Irish writer and playwright of enormous talent.  He is perhaps best known for the plays "Waiting for Godot" and "Endgame" both of which prompted a critic of the time to dub them Theater of the Absurd.  Beckett was mistakenly thought of as being part of the existentialist philosophy movement.  He didn't consider himself to be a follower, but there are certain similarities to existentialism in his plays.  Both plays feature blackly humorous themes involving the subject of despair and the will to survive in spite of it.  "Godot" has two bums sitting on a bench doing nothing but waiting for Godot.  Their conversation while waiting is what the play is all about.  "Endgame" also is written for two characters who are stuck in ashbins.  Occasionally one or the other pops his head out of the ashes to speak.  They commiserate that what was once funny, played over and over again may still be funny, but the laughter is gone.

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