Approaches to Teaching Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
- Editors: June Schlueter, Enoch Brater
- Pages: viii & 184 pp.
- Published: 1991
- ISBN: 9780873525428 (Paperback)
“The subject range . . . is very broad—from biblical allusions . . . to echoes of the music hall.”
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.