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Approaches to Teaching Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Editor(s): June Schlueter, Enoch Brater

Pages: viii & 184 pp.
Published: 1991
ISBN: 9780873525428

"The subject range...is very broad--from biblical allusions...to echoes of the music hall."
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The casebound edition of this title is out of print.

Waiting for Godot offers as much of a challenge in the classroom today as it did to its early audiences in the 1950s. It has become "the centerpiece of a range of college and university courses. Whatever the context and approach, the play continues to yield readings that richly contribute to the study of both drama and culture," write June Schlueter and Enoch Brater, the book's editors.

This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first, "Materials," gives editions and productions, readings for students, reference works, background and critical studies, and audiovisual resources. The second part, "Approaches," contains twenty essays that situate the play in the Beckett canon, explore what it does rather than what it means, discuss its absurdity, put it in the context of contemporary drama, interpret it from different critical perspectives, examine its relation to Charlie Chaplin, compare its French and English texts, and share the pedagogical insights obtained by a teacher who directed it in a maximum-security prison in Florida.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Beckett's Waiting for Godot

PART 1: MATERIALS
June Schlueter and Enoch Brater

Editions and Productions

Required and Recommended Student Readings

The Instructor's Library
Reference Materials
Background Studies
Critical Studies

Audiovisual Library

PART 2: APPROACHES

Introduction
June Schlueter

Prologue

Beckett and His Godot
Ruby Cohn

Introducing Godot

Waiting for Godot and the Principle of Uncertainty
William Hutchings

"Let's Contradict Each Other": Responding to Godot
Michael J. Collins

Teaching Godot from Life
Linda Ben-Zvi

Index



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