1. Warming up: Stealing ideas from a few articles about Waiting for Godot in performance
2. Finishing the play and drawing some larger conclusions: Do Foster's ideas work with this play?
"Every Trip Is a Quest"
A place to go?
A stated reason to go there?
Challenges and trials en route?
A real reason to go there?
"Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion"
"...breaking bread together is an act of sharing and peace, since if you're breaking bread you're not breaking heads." (8)
"...writing a meal scene is so difficult, and so inherently uninteresting, that there really needs to be some compelling reason to include one in the story. And that reason has to do with how characters are getting along. Or not getting along." (8)
"Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?"
"Here it is: there's only one story. There, I said it and I can't very well take it back. There is only one story. Ever. One. It's always been going on and it's everywhere around us and every story you've ever read or heard or watched is part of it."
"More Than It's Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence"
"Violence is one of the most personal and even intimate acts between human beings, but it can also be cultural and societal in its implications...that punch in the nose may be a metaphor." (88)
"First, think about what there is down low or up high. Low: swamps, crowds, fog, darkness, fields, heat, unpleasantness, people, life, death. High: snow, ice, purity, thin air, clear views, isolation, life, death." (173)
"He's Blind for a Reason, You Know?"
Remember your old friend, Oedipus? And his frenemy, Tieresias?
"Every move, every statement by or about that character has to accommodate the lack of sight; every other character has to notice, or behave differently, if only in subtle ways...Clearly the author wants to emphasize other levels of sight and blindness beyond the physical." (202)
"Is He Serious? And Other Ironies"
"Now hear this: irony trumps everything." (235)
What ingrained expectations do we have of the characters and symbols in this play, and how does Beckett deny us the satisfaction of applying our expectations to these symbols (thus making them ironic)?
3. Wrapping up
1. Culminating essay outlines should be complete at this point; e-mail me when you'd like me to look over yours. Draft at least two paragraphs (perhaps an introduction and a thesis paragraph) over the weekend.
2. If you were absent today or yesterday, please complete the play on your own; we will have a Socratic seminar on Monday, but you can create your reading tickets in class that day.
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