Samuel Beckett by Charles R. Lyons (auth.)

By Charles R. Lyons (auth.)

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Seeing and hearing a dramatic performance, the spectator does not voice the words of the character as the reader of a novel speaks that text silently. The audience does not see the scene only through the perception of the character. On the contrary, the spectator sees the scene as an actual space that surrounds the character, witnessing the character's perception of that site and its significance. In Act II1, scene ii of King Lear Shakespeare reinforces the sense of tempest within Lear's disintegrating mind by placing hirn within a real storm.

At this point Vladimir quest ions the validity of his perception and his ability to sustain the memory of his meeting with Pozzo and Lucky: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? That with Estragon my friend, at this place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot? That Pozzo passed, with his carrier, and that he spoke to us? Probably. But in all that what truth will there be? Vladimir recognises that his memory of the encounter will be fixed within a verbal structure.

Beckett's Malone spends his final days telling stories to hirnself. 'I shall soon be quite dead at last in spite of all .... ' 10 Each of these writers seeks a sense of his own persona as the herD of the narrative and also as the story teller , the writer reflected in his writing. The characters of Beckett's fiction and drama also maintain another equally energetic quest: the search not for selfhood but for seiflessness, silence. They seek their identity through discourse; they attempt to perceive the persona signified by the pronoun 'I'.

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