The Entrapment of the Female Body in Beckett's Plays in Relation to Jung's Third Tavistock Lecture

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Abstract:

This article is concerned with the female body in Samuel Beckett's drama, and how often the female characters are shown as trapped and immobile. My main focus is on Happy Days, and the paradoxical nature of Winnie's entrapment, and her attitude to it. I make particular reference to C. G. Jung's Third Tavistock Lecture, which was attended by Beckett and obviously affected him quite profoundly, as he made reference to it throughout his career, for example in All That Fall, and also during rehearsals when advising female actors how to approach their characters. It seems to me that the ideas Jung expressed in this lecture help to illuminate both Winnie's plight, and her seeming indifference to it, whilst also helping to elucidate the extreme responses, from both actors and audiences, to this highly charged dramatic image of a woman trapped, up to her waist and then to her neck, in a mound of earth.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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