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Versions of the Clown in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and Sam Shepard's "Kicking a Dead Horse"

Gabriella Varró
Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS)
Vol. 16, No. 1/2, The Uses of Narrative: A Special Double Issue in Honor of Professor Zoltán Abádi-Nagy (Spring-Fall, 2010), pp. 205-223
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43921762
Page Count: 19
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Versions of the Clown in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and Sam Shepard's "Kicking a Dead Horse"
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Abstract

While Samuel Beckett's fascination and recurring involvement with the figure of the clown is relatively well known in the criticism, Sam Shepard's entanglement with the same dramatic type character has been almost entirely ignored. This study intends to bridge this gap in the critical discussion of Shepard and emphasizes the relevant analogies that exist between the dramas of these authors. The investigation focuses on the significance of the clown character and various clowning traditions in the two selected plays, specifying those real life models which might have influenced the artistic representations. The analysis also underlines the embedded-ness of the clown within the Theatre of the Absurd, calls attention to the Irish shades of this often mysterious and clearly paradoxical theatrical archetype, as well as discusses fundamental similarities between the dramatic actualizations of the type in Waiting for Godot and Kicking a Dead Horse.

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