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Ambiguous Stage: Beckett’s Scenography

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2006, 19(1), pp.231-251
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Jae-Oh Choi 1

1호서대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Choi, Jae-OhIn spite of surrealist influence on Samuel Beckett's works, little has been done to explore his plays from a fully surrealist perspective. This paper examines, following the sense of ambiguous space in surrealist paintings, how Beckett's plays operate along surrealist lines. To investigate Beckett's use of theatrical space, I compare Yves Tanguy's and Salvador Dali's paintings with Beckett's several plays, focusing on the subjects such as Beckett's use of indeterminate space, contradictory time frames, and the conflation of animate and inanimate states. In my surrealist reading of Beckett's plays, therefore, I concentrate on the areas where his theatrical space produces the same ambiguities and tensions that are at the foundation of surrealist art as articulated by Tanguy and Dali.These ambiguities and tensions recoup the viewing eye/I as a physical organism in a perceptual relationship with the work of art. Yet, this condensing of the viewer's self awareness of self presence is not the final stage of the relationship. Just as one achieves this state of perception, the representational violence of both Beckett's plays and surrealist painting disperses it. Beckett's plays, therefore, are a screen that provokes the welling up of associations in the mind of the viewer, creating a progression of events over time through kinetic images. This is obvious in his characterization and scenography.

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