Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde

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Critics and audiences alike have neglected the idea of Wilde as a precursor to Beckett. But I contend that a closer look at each writer's aesthetic and philosophic tendencies-for instance, their interest in the fluid nature of self, their understanding of identity as a performance, and their belief in language as both a way in and a way out of stagnancy -will connect them in surprising and highly significant ways. This thesis will focus on the ways in which Wilde prefigures Beckett as a dramatist. Indeed, many of the themes that Beckett, free from the constraints of a censor and ... continued below

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Tucker, Amanda August 2003.

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  • Tucker, Amanda

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Critics and audiences alike have neglected the idea of Wilde as a precursor to Beckett. But I contend that a closer look at each writer's aesthetic and philosophic tendencies-for instance, their interest in the fluid nature of self, their understanding of identity as a performance, and their belief in language as both a way in and a way out of stagnancy -will connect them in surprising and highly significant ways. This thesis will focus on the ways in which Wilde prefigures Beckett as a dramatist. Indeed, many of the themes that Beckett, free from the constraints of a censor and from the societal restrictions of Victorian England, unabashedly details in his drama are to be found residing obscurely in Wilde. Understanding Beckett's major dramatic themes and motifs therefore yields new strategies for reading Wilde.

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  • August 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:56 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 4:16 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Tucker, Amanda. Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde, thesis, August 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4248/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .