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English Literature   >   Beckett: Waiting for Godot

Who was Samuel Beckett?

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Beckett: Waiting for Godot

In this course, Professor Anna McMullan (University of Reading) explores Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. We begin in the first module with an overview of Beckett’s life, career and literary output. After that, we think about the mixed reception of Waiting for Godot when it was first performed in Paris (1953) and London (1944), before moving on in the third module to consider how the play refined the rules of theatre as they were understood by audiences and critics at the time. In the fourth module, we think about some of the ways in which the play has been interpreted, before turning in the fifth module to the 1975 production of the play in Berlin, which Beckett directed himself. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about some other productions of Waiting for Godot, and some of the issues that the play presents to directors and audiences approaching the play today.

Who was Samuel Beckett?

In this module, we give an overview of Beckett’s life, career, and literary output, focusing in particular on the three ‘phases’ of his work, and his life and work in France before, during and after the Second World War.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McMullan, A. (2018, August 15). Beckett: Waiting for Godot - Who was Samuel Beckett? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McMullan, A. "Beckett: Waiting for Godot – Who was Samuel Beckett?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. Anna McMullan

Prof. Anna McMullan

Reading University