The absurd imagination: Northrop Frye and Waiting for Godot

Dubois, Diane (2011) The absurd imagination: Northrop Frye and Waiting for Godot. English Studies in Canada, 37 (2-3). pp. 111-130. ISSN 0317-0802

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The Absurd Imagination: Northrop Frye and Waiting for Godot
Article appearing in the special edition of ESC commemorating the 100th anniversary of Frye's birth. Analyses Beckett's play using Frygian methods.
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Abstract

Analyses of Waiting for Godot usually hinge on the idea that language is, at best, an unreliable medium of communication and, at worst, a means of filling the existential void by keeping silence at bay. Using the copy of Godot annotated by Northrop Frye and held by the University of Toronto, this paper shows that the play’s protagonists are trapped in an ironic and absurd hell through the failure of their imaginations. Drawing on a range of Frye’s writings, the paper argues that Godot, though an absurdist “nightmare life in death,” constantly addresses the possibility of redemption, and is itself, like all fictions, potentially redemptive.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Analyses of Waiting for Godot usually hinge on the idea that language is, at best, an unreliable medium of communication and, at worst, a means of filling the existential void by keeping silence at bay. Using the copy of Godot annotated by Northrop Frye and held by the University of Toronto, this paper shows that the play’s protagonists are trapped in an ironic and absurd hell through the failure of their imaginations. Drawing on a range of Frye’s writings, the paper argues that Godot, though an absurdist “nightmare life in death,” constantly addresses the possibility of redemption, and is itself, like all fictions, potentially redemptive.
Keywords:Northrop Frye, Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, British drama, Twentieth-century drama, bmjpub
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q200 Comparative Literary studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Performing Arts
ID Code:5793
Deposited By: Diane Dubois
Deposited On:13 Jun 2012 22:06
Last Modified:05 Dec 2013 10:22

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