I.A.U Islamic Azad University- Central Tehran Branch Faculty of Foreign Languages
Submitted to the Department of Postgraduate Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of M.A.
A Deleuzean Study of Samuel Beckett’s Three Plays: Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I, Endgame
In the Name of God
This thesis would not have been possible without the help, support and patience of my principal supervisor, Prof. Azita Ariyan to whom I owe gratitude. I am truly indebted and thankful of my dear family who supported me in every way.
To my family, and Shadi.
The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine Beckett’s three plays Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I, and Endgame in the vein of Gilles Deleuze’s tenets such as becoming, body without organs, smooth space and nomadic character. Deleuze and Guattari’s creation of schizoids has been one of the most controversial projects in during the recent decades in fields such as philosophy, psychology, linguistics and singular modes of art especially cinema. The schizoids create a world of randomness or fortuitous oscillations in which possibility resides everywhere. This chaos, this flow, this body which has lost its organs is able to demolish whatever is in its way; it is however capable of fabricating any new machine by its connection to other machines accessible. The main aim of this thesis is in the first place to investigate the way each individual loses its individuality by becoming and to introduce the main dangers of one constant machinic connection resulting in entropic dullness. In such situations, the lines of flight or deterritorializations provide an exposure by another coherence. Secondly the writer wishes to have a more analytical view on the process of subjectivations produced in each becoming by emphasizing the operation of body without organs.
Body without Organs, Deterritorialization, Becoming, Identity, Smooth Space, Lines of Flight.
Table of Content:
I. Chapter One: Introduction
A. General Overview …………………………………………………….………5
B. Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………..…10
C. Significance of the problem…………………………………………..………12
E. Approach and Methodology…………………………………………………19
F. Literature Review…………………………………………………………..….21
G. Definition of the Key-terms……………………………………………..……23
II. Chapter Two: Deleuze’s tenets in Krapp’s Last Tape……………………………….26
A. “Arbre”, “Rhizome”, and “Becoming” in Krapp……………………….…..27
Becoming Imperceptible in Krapp…………………..………….……31
B. Language in Deleuzean perspective in Krapp’s Last Tape.……………..…..37
C. Krapp’s Last Tape and Body without Organ…………………………….……41
D. Krapp and Smooth Space………………………………………………….….44
III. Chapter Three: Deleuzean perspectives in Not I………………………………….…46
A. Not I and Nonsignifying Language……………………………………….…..46
Regimes of signs…………………………………………………….…53
B. Becoming process in Not I……………………………………………………59
C. Not I and Body without Organ (BwO)………………………………………..64
D. Negation of Ego- Not I………………………………………………………..70
IV. Chapter Four: Deleuzean themes in Endgame…………………………………..…..76
A. Endgame and Language 1…………………………………………………….77
1. Endgame and Language 2…………………………………………….89
2. Endgame and Repetition………………………………………………96
B. Endgame and Body without Organs (BwO)………………………………….99
C. Endgame and Smooth Space…………………………………………………110
Endgame and Nomadic Characters………………………………….114
V. Chapter Five: Conclusion
B. Summing up……………………………………………………………………121
D. Suggestions for Further Reading……………………………………………..126
1.1 General Background
Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) is an outstanding Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humor. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. He is considered one of the last modernists. As an inspiration to many later writers, he is also sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists. Furthermore, he is one of the key writers in the “Theatre of the Absurd”. Besides, Beckett’s work has extended the possibility of drama and fiction in unprecedented ways, bringing to the theater and the novel an acute awareness of the absurdity of human existence_ our desperate search for meaning, our individual isolation, and the gulf between our desires and the language in which they find expression. Beckett was awarded Croix de guerre (France), Medaille de Resistence (France), honorary doctorate from Trinity College (1959-Dublin), International Publishers’ Formentor Prize (1961), Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1968), and in 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”. Beckett studied French, Italian, and English and he went to Paris while there, he was introduced to a renowned Irish author James Joyce. This meeting had a profound impact on the young man.
No doubt the best known of Beckett’s mature efforts written originally in English, Krapp’s Last Tape carries his theatrical experiment one step further, reducing the cast of characters to a single human actor, supplemented by a tape recorder playing back the same voice at a much earlier age, with references to still earlier recordings. Going well beyond the usual dramatic monologue, the interaction of the aging Krapp with his former self (or selves) raises Krapp’s Last Tape to the dimension of full-scale theater. Set “in the future”- tape recorders being relatively new at the time of the play’s composition—Krapp’s Last Tape presents the title character under the strong, merciless light of his workspace. This light is demanded by his increasingly poor eyesight. In this way, light and shadow, sight and blindness figure prominently in Beckett’s attempt to examine. Krapp has apparently intended to surprise himself with memories kept “fresh” on tape, but there are few surprises to be found. Like Vladimir and Estragon, Krapp is rather clownish in appearance and dress, prone to a variety of ailments no doubt inflicted by his lifestyle. A heavy drinker who interrupts the tape more than once to take a nip offstage, Krapp is also hopelessly addicted to bananas, despite chronic constipation. As it could be imagined, dramatization of this play on the stage would expand the boundaries of what can be realized in theatre.
Endgame is a break, from previous on-stage brutalities having a non-linear, freer, more fragmented poetic without any specified stage direction or characters’ movement. It consists of four characters. The setting for Endgame is a bare room with two small windows situated high up on the back wall. This is a shelter for the four characters; the rest of the world is supposed to be dead. Hamm is onstage, seated in chair, and covered with a sheet when the play opens. Clov enters and proceeds to set up a ladder so he can look out both windows. Once he has completed this ritual he leaves the room and goes to his kitchen. Hamm wakes up wanting to play games. He whistles and Clov immediately appears. They discuss Hamm’s eyes, which Clov has never looked at. Hamm asks Clov to put the sheet back over him, indicating that he wants to go to sleep. Clov refuses, and Hamm threatens not to feed him anymore. Clov says that then he will die. Hamm finally asks Clov why he does not leave. Clov indicates that he is trying to leave, and that someday he will. Hamm then wants to know why Clov will not kill him. Their conversation is stunted by the fact that whenever one of them makes a statement, it is countered by the other person. The first speaker then agrees with the counter argument, meaning that the conversation immediately ends. The whole play consists of nonsense conversation between Hamm and Clov who don’t have any choice for changing their life. It might not be quite fair to take this stillness as simplicity while much more complexities are hidden under the apparent tranquil layers of this play. It means that though apparently impossible, multiple interpretations can be brought into the light.
The third play discussed, Not I is a short dramatic monologue written in 1972. It takes place in a pitch-black space illuminated only by a single beam of light. This spotlight fixes on an actress’s mouth about eight feet above the stage, everything else being blacked out and, in early performances, illuminates the shadowy figure of the Auditor who makes four increasingly ineffectual movements “of helpless compassion” during brief breaks in the monologue where Mouth appears to be listening to some inner voice unheard by the audience. The mouth utters at a ferocious pace of fragmented, jumbled sentences which obliquely tells the story of a woman of about seventy- having been abandoned by her parents after a premature birth- has lived a loveless, mechanical life and has suffered an unspecified traumatic experience. The woman has been virtually mute since childhood apart from occasional outbursts, one of which comprises the text we hear. From the text it could be inferred that the woman had been raped but this is something Beckett was very clear about when asked: “How could you think of such a thing! No, no, not at all – it wasn’t that at all” (Beckett 18). It seems more likely that she has suffered some kind of collapse, possibly even her death, while “wandering in a field … looking aimlessly for cowslips” (78). Her initial reaction to the paralyzing event is to assume she is being punished by God, but she finds she is not suffering; she feels no pain, as in life she felt no pleasure. She cannot think why she might be being punished but accepts that God does not need a “particular reason” for what He does. She thinks she has something to tell though doesn’t know what yet believes if she goes over the events of her life for long enough she will stumble upon that thing for which she needs to seek forgiveness. In addition to the continued buzzing in her skull there is now a light of varying intensity tormenting her. As in many of Beckett’s works there is a cyclical nature fading in and out to similar expressions suggesting this is a snapshot of a much larger event. The title comes from the character’s repeated insistence that the events she describes or alludes to did not happen to her.
During the 15 years following the war, Beckett produced four major full-length stage plays: En attendant Godot ( 1948–1949; Waiting for Godot), Fin de partie (1955–1957; Endgame) , Krapp’s Last Tape (1958), and Happy Days (1961). These plays- which are often considered, rightly or wrongly, to have been instrumental in the so-called “Theater of the absurd”- deal in a very bleakly humorous way with themes similar to those of the roughly contemporary existentialist thinkers. Though many of the themes are similar, Beckett had little affinity with existentialism as a whole. Broadly speaking, the plays deal with the subject of despair and the will to survive in spite of that despair, in the face of an uncomprehending and incomprehensible world. Beckett’s outstanding achievements in prose during the period were the three novels Molly (1951), Malone meurt (1951; Malone Dies) and L’innommable (1953: The Unnamable). In these novels—sometimes referred to as a “trilogy”, though this is against the author’s own explicit wishes—the prose becomes increasingly bare and stripped down. Despite the widely held view that Beckett’s work, as exemplified by the novels of this period, is essentially pessimistic. After these three novels, Beckett struggled for many years to produce a sustained work of prose, a struggle evidenced by the brief “stories” later collected as Texts for Nothing. In the late 1950s, however, he created one of his most radical prose works, Comment c’est (1961; How It Is).
In reading Beckett’s three plays (Krapp’s last tape, Not I, and Happy Days) what comes into focus is the representation of a process of becoming, affect of characters who repressed in modern society. Although the main issue in these plays revolves around absurdity in critical studies, a new study would bring how absurdity reflected in a process of becoming for Krapp and other characters. They keep coming back to themselves no matter how chokingly violent the world is. Despite loneliness, despair, and isolation they got accustomed to survive under the gloomy atmosphere of modern society exemplified in the character of Krapp who tries to find himself among tapes. The language used in these plays is fragmented, chaotic and endless that mocks the structured, highly stylized and codified language of traditional theater; The language that escapes any specific clear one dimensional interpretation. Such notions practiced in Beckett’s plays, have been well expressed, expanded, and theorized by Gilles Deleuze’s postulates in France, which might be another proof for the uniqueness and universality of such issues.
Gilles Deleuze ( 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) is a French philosopher who, from the early 1960s until his death, wrote influentially on philosophy, literature, film and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). His metaphysical treatise Difference and Repetition (1968) is considered by many scholars to be his magnum opus. Deleuze’s works fall into two groups: on one hand, monographs interpreting the work of other philosophers (Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Foucault) and artists (Proust, Kafka, Francis Bacon); on the other, eclectic philosophical tomes organized by concept (e.g., difference, sense, events, schizophrenia, cinema, philosophy). Regardless of topic, however, Deleuze consistently develops variations on similar ideas.
Deleuze’s main philosophical project in the works he wrote prior to his collaborations with Guattari can be boldly summarized as an inversion of the traditional metaphysical relationship between identity and difference. Deleuze claims that all identities are effects of difference. Identities are neither logically nor metaphysically prior to difference, Deleuze argues, “given that there exist differences of nature between things of the same genus” ( Anti-Oedipus 16).That is, not only are no two things ever the same, the categories we use to identify individuals in the first place derive from differences. Difference, in other words, goes all the way down. To confront reality honestly, Deleuze argues, we must grasp beings exactly as they are, and concepts of identity (forms, categories, resemblances, unities of apperception, predicates, etc.) fail to attain what he calls “difference in itself.” “If philosophy has a positive and direct relation to things, it is only insofar as philosophy claims to grasp the thing itself, according to what it is, in its difference from everything it is not, in other words, in its internal difference” (Anti-Oedipus 69).
Moreover, Deleuze claims that being is univocal, i.e., that all of its senses are affirmed in one voice. Deleuze adapts the doctrine of univocity to claim that being is, univocally, difference. “With univocity, however, it is not the differences which are and must be: it is being which is Difference, in the sense that it is said of difference. Moreover, it is not we who are univocal in a Being which is not; it is we and our individuality which remains equivocal in and for a univocal Being”(67) For Deleuze, there is no one substance, only an always-differentiating process, an origami cosmos, always folding, unfolding, refolding. Deleuze summarizes this ontology in the paradoxical formula “pluralism= monism”(Anti-Oedipus 68).
Difference and Repetition is Deleuze’s most sustained and systematic attempt to work out the details of such a metaphysics, but his other works develop similar ideas. In Nietzsche and Philosophy (1962), for example, reality is a play of forces; in Anti Oedipus (1972), a “body without organs”; in What Is Philosophy? (1991), a “plane of immanence “ or “chaosmos”(90).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There would be no way one can merely claim that Beckett had Deleuze in mind while writing his three pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I, and Endgame. However, while reading these plays, as a researcher, one may come across the notion of process of becoming, what Deleuze frequently concentrates on in his revolutionizing theories. The process of becoming other than yourself and coming into the light of the new world in which there is no place for humanity to be there. Therefore, the researcher aims to examine the main characters in the mentioned works- Krapp, Ham, Clov, and the woman’s mouth- carefully to see if they can be positioned in such a process. Furthermore, she needs to make sure that she would not limit herself to finding traces of Deleuze’s becoming process in Becket’s male and female figures; rather it is necessary to expand the whole theory to other characters and events to examine the applicability of Deleuze’s theory to Becket’s theater. In the same way, the significance of the male and female figures’ function in these works should not be degraded as they are not excluded from Becket’s or Deleuze’s. On the contrary, they are to be appreciated in the newly born world of becoming.
One of the main issues dealt with in this study is the importance of both Becket’s and Deleuze’s language that escapes any attempt for fixed one-dimensional meaning. Such writings always carry the risk of being over read, or blocking the examiner in their complexities. Thus, although Becket’s fragmented, chaotic and endless texts that mocks the structured, highly stylized and codified language is artistically used in all three aforementioned plays, the researcher should patiently scrutinize the purpose behind it to see if it can be brought in line with what Deleuze meant by becoming and effect. Another notion equally abstract and important, is the issue of humanity that should be treated just as emphatically of the becoming since Deleuze spends an article-space defining the process of not censoring the human and writing about it. Equally significant for Becket, human becoming other things is the main source of suffering as well as liberated in Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I and Endgame. Such delicacy should be taken into consideration in applying Deleuze’s notion of becoming to Becket’s disembodiment of his characters to prevent any possible over reading. In conclusion, to have a thoroughly Deleuzean study of Samuel Becket’s Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I, and Endgame, the researcher needs to pursue a complicated procedure of finding and analyzing the coordinated elements in both literary and critical domains chosen in this research.
1.3 Significance of the Problem
The objective of this research is to examine Beckett’s three plays Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I and Endgame in the vein of Deleuzean projects of becoming and affect. Therefore, the researcher wishes to demonstrate how Deleuze’s notion of becoming in the process of reconstructing the newly born world is applicable to Becket’s three main characters in the mentioned plays, Krapp, Hamm, Clov, and the woman’s mouth. The researcher also aims to examine if the mentioned characters are either successful to defeat fixed order and be born again according to Deleuze’s project of coming back to no origin and creating everything other than representations of traditional things.
Besides, the researcher seeks to construe the chosen plays to see if Deleuze’s becoming and affect are applicable to Becket’s depiction of his male and female figures. Also to trace notions such as Deleuze’s becoming and affect in Becket’s portrayal of seeking for freedom and transformation are represented in his plays. Finally, the thesis aims to scrutinize diverse aspects of Becket’s distinguished style of writing in the mentioned plays to see if they can align with Deleuze’s tenet of ‘becoming’ to make a subversive revolutionary type of writing.
What makes Deleuzean study of Becket’s plays significant lies in the fact that both Beckett and Deleuze interestingly share certain notions despite difference of time and place, they lived in. In fact, Becket’s plays deal with the subject of despair and the will to survive in spite of that despair, in the face of an uncomprehending and incomprehensible world as an end to such plays. Thus, Samuel Becket has been often under attacks of those who accused him of depicting pessimistic images of life, absurdity, mental illness, pain, and torture for a long time. However, when such notorious issues are reread under the lights of Deleuzean tenets one can realize how people should free their selves to glorify becoming others rather than being human This becoming other seems to be a means to break from the old and be born again, and to create people’s free language that does not repress any desire, and consequently Becket’s works are capable to gain a higher and deeper significance. In this way, the three chosen plays read as not only multilayered representations of human psyche, but also as detailed practices of what Deleuze describes as the becoming through everything of the multidimensional things that would accord the reader of this study a wider horizons for understanding and expounding them.
One of the main issues Deleuze points to in Capitalism and schizophera is the fact that humans should enter the world of imagination since it is through art and philosophy that they can speak. Opposing capitalist society, “he does not differentiate between reality and becoming other than reality; he actually equates them considering becoming as a freedom” (496-97). For Becket as well, the program of becoming plays the main role in his plays to such an extent that the principle concern of his three main female and male characters in all three plays is the struggle with their restricted world and the attempt to find a way to speak out. Krapp of Krapp’s Last Tape, Hamm and Clov in Endgame, and the mouth in Not I all struggle obstinately to find a way to cure both their loneliness and their souls. And at the same time, they try to find a way to express their thoughts through becoming and create the language of their own.
The revolutionary use of language is another means by which humanity can free itself from oppression as Deleuze argues, on being kept in the dark prison of humanity for centuries, it is time for humans to break their prolonged silence and to get rid of the overwhelming of capitalist society and its traditions in which man is always subject to passivity and destruction. To do this, it is time to revolutionize the language and create a special writing in which not only human but things are also given voice; “a language that does not deny the others but gives them courage and space to speak up as well; a language that breaks all norms, classes, regulations, and codes sweeping away the syntax” (Deleuze 497-49). Therefore the research serves to demonstrate how Becket has artistically used this quality in his three plays as he has created a unique language of his own from which one cannot expect the common qualities of traditional literary language. He tries to communicate by means of an incommunicable language that at first seems to be too chaotic and fragmented but aided by Deleuzean projects, it acquires deeper dimensions of understanding. The quality of the other dimensions mentioned in Deleuze’s revolutionary theory enhances the reader’s understanding of Becket’s plays as there is constant fusion of human voices and things in these works indicated in the voices of Krapp, Hamm/ Clove, and the woman’s. Consequently, these voices that may even confuse the reader at first implying a chaotic mixture of voices with no aim of communication; however, when regarded under the light of Deleuze’s representation of other things language, one can see the purpose behind giving voice to the other, avoidance of any humanity, and bringing us to the scene rather than I. Therefore, this research can enhance reader’s horizon of understanding of Becket’s theater in creating becoming and affect on the basis of what Deleuze sets forth through the power of language.
Another significant issue the researcher aims to enhance in Becket’s plays through the lights of Deleuzean dictums is the process of becoming. In other words, one of the outcomes of becoming is the rebirth of inhumanity despite all the chains and repressions that pin it in the margin of the capitalist society. “Deleuze urges humanity to take the risk of being things to step outside the capitalist circles that exercises the constant vigilance of the other. He believes that it is only by the means of speaking/ writing that they can take a journey to things returning back to themselves” ( Capitalism and schizophera 457-64). I would claim that Deleuze believes that you are affect, you are flux and machine. So you have freedom to be something that you are not. Becoming shows human being is collection of sounds, colors, textures, voices, and noises. There is no center, no being. He shatters everything “I am collection of sounds, forms, and shapes, I am not human anymore” (56). As the researcher has observed, the same notion has been practiced by Becket’s characters who are brought out of the vigilance of a humanity Krapp/ Hamm- to reaffirms what Deleuze calls “Newly Born” in his essay. The researcher believes that Samuel Becket’s characters in these three works are often mentally disturbed due to the repressions and violent tortures of capitalist society in a melancholic distressing condition. They are mostly trapped in the transcendence systems that push them into the margin, keep them in the dark and make them feel deprived of their drives- in case of Hamm and Clov in Endgame- and even from being a human- in case of Krapp and the woman’s mouth in Not I.
However, no matter how impossible it seems to be, some of these figures succeed to break their silence and accomplish the journey back to becoming other things rather than human, a journey into the light as Krapp’s Last Tape’s character Krapp desires, becoming tape, As we can see, Krapp is reduced to voice “spoooooooooooooool”. He is getting lost in his identity. He can’t live without tape, he enjoys becoming other, he is becoming voice. Or in Endgame becoming silent in the eyes of Hamm and Clov is accentuated a lot. Throughout the play, they are silent and this can be expounded as a becoming silent. They talk clearly but inside the conversation, the reader can barely find any meaningful sentences that make sense. Becoming voice and silence can be seen in Not I too. She also uses a lot of fragmented sentences with huge pauses that is capable to be read as an act of becoming. These are the examples of stepping outside the formed, order, and meaningful world. Therefore, in the vein of these viewpoints, this study is able to broaden the domain of interpretations of Becket’s plays far from simple attribution of mere notions such as death, destruction, and violence to them.
In addition, the notion of affect is another major procedure in Deleuzean program through which the researcher aims to provide readers with a more perfect understanding of Becket’s representations of silence and fear. Deleuze maintains that affect of fear and silence can be seen in any work of art in contrast with what capitalist society believes. Thus, “writing is a pure search for freedom that is not destructive without attributing any labels or classifications to anyone” (Deleuze I 443). The researcher claims that this kind of freedom is one of the main concerns of Becket reflected in his mentioned plays. In fact his works are involved in a freedom through which his characters are shaped and evolutionalized. They all crave for freedom in totality, a freedom that does not exclude the other, or nor aims at any dominance over it, but wants it to be completed. As it is manifested in Krapp Last Tape, Krapp seeks freedom from this dark world through becoming tape and silence. He attempts to be everything other than himself. Affect of fear and loneliness in Endgame is shown through Hamm who craves for disappearing from this gloomy atmosphere despite the fact that Clov humiliates him each time he declares his will and threatens him by leaving. Also, the woman’s mouth in Not I gives voice to her disappointing love which makes her sing now after ages of silence, and thereby sees herself alone and useless. In fact she desires for the other to uplift her soul, that is why she lets her voice be heard through her mouth. Although the fusion of characters and events is one of Becket’s artistically used techniques, it may seem confusing to the readers. However, the researcher insists that if his plays are studied in line with what Deleuze manifests as becoming other things of another kind attributed to anti-humanity and the quality of giving, the readers’ understanding would go beyond the simple interpretations of loneliness exacted in the cliché theories of lack and desire.
In fact, in this study, the researcher aims to have a thorough analysis of Becket’s three plays, Krapp’s Last Tape, Endgame and Not I by means of Deleuze’s becoming, affect and nomadic theories on writing, human, and real world. To do this, the researcher attempts to analyze Becket’s plays through Deleuzean outlook to render unique, distinguished interpretation of Becket’s works far from those often one-dimensional, prejudiced views due to the attribution of intense naturalistic violence, sexuality, vulgarity, and psychological distress to the characters. Besides, the researcher’s purpose is to enhance readers’ understanding of these plays by going beyond over-simplified interpretations that normally judge a book by its cover finally leading to the same fierce controversies around Becket’s plays. In this way, the researcher serves to study the plays based on Deleuze’s revolutionary projects towards becoming as the source of human consciousness projected in his speaking as well as his writing. Accordingly, one would be able to bring Becket’s depiction of characters in their constant struggle for communication into further levels of meaning and to analyze these “becoming” in process of rebirth out of the traditional chained and brainwashed beings without labeling them as fixed, traditional creatures as readers would traditionally do.
Moreover, this study would emphatically assert that Becket’s representations of poignant loneliness, fear, and alienation of his characters depicted through a naturalistic, fragmented, confusing, and sometimes non-verbal language can be construed in revolutionary aspects of the writer’s unwitting becoming. Thus, the unknowing text desires to break all codes, regulations, and syntax of language to communicate in a unique language of its own. Accordingly, this rereading of Beckett wishes to affirm that all those controversial harsh images of loneliness, fear, fusion of sexes that may confuse many readers at their first attempts in reading his plays can now be understood as practical representations of Deleuzean dictum of becoming other things rather than humanity, interestingly this non-human creation celebrates rebirth out of decentered capitalist systems. Furthermore, in the process of improving the readers’ understanding Beckett’s plays are expounded as distinguished multilayered works worth reading for Iranian readers as neither the writer nor his works are widely known in the researcher’s homeland, Iran. Therefore, this study serves to study Samuel Becket’s Endgame. Not I and Krapp’s Last Tape through Deleuze’s outstanding views of inhumanity and writing in a novel fashion not only to broaden the horizons of understanding radically all around the world but also to introduce to the Iranian readers Becket’s unique practice of becoming in his distinguished works. In this manner, it would pave the way for further studies of these works or even other plays of Samuel Becket in Iran.
The first motivation of history is to concentrate on Samuel Becket three plays in the vein of Gilles Deleuze projects is Becket himself as a distinguished modern playwright because of his controversial, artistically structured artworks. Therefore, the first shocking impression after the first reading of Becket’s unique plays was strong enough to motivate the researcher to introduce such a playwright to Iranian readers by analyzing them through a revolutionary outlook exacted in Deleuze’s thinking. The researcher’s second motivation in to apply such an outlook goes back to the multidimensional nature of “Deleuze’s standing” as a thinker. A thinker influenced by Derrida’s outlooks on psychology and language he is distinguished from all other writers. Thus, to accomplish this, the researcher focuses on Samuel Becket’s three plays, Not I, Endgame, and Krapp’s Last Tape.
This reading also aims to focus on those aspects of Deleuze’s project of becoming mostly discussed in his main book Capitalism and Schizophrenia. According to this book, the programs applied in this research are mainly deduced from Deleuze’s opposition to Western culture in which human beings are always associated with superiority. In other words, he asserts that from philosophy to literature there have been often questions of humanity. “What Deleuze has emphasized here are his unsetting ideas on threatening the stability of humanity suggesting “the other” in which the other is not only accepted but also given a voice to speak independently; he is not going to be reduced to a single idol anymore, nor is he dominated by the other things” (457-64). “This quality attributed to be born again urges human to be other than humanity. By the other, Deleuze means anything but human since he does not differentiate between human and things; it is a cosmic unconsciousness that enables everyone to think endlessly not to build a hierarchy of society” (464).
Another theory discussed in Capitalism and Schizophrenia that is to be focused on in this research is ‘becoming’ in which he continues clarifying the issues mainly discussed in the previous one beside adding some new revolutionary theories. A project like becoming plays a vital role in analyzing Becket’s plays. As it renders, an innovative and subversive writing that breaks the boundaries, classes, regulations, and codes, sweeping away the syntax and Laws of language that does not give way to any classifications. Again, by means of ‘becoming’ he urges human to speak out, to step out of their thoughts. Another issue being discussed in this research is what Deleuze takes as human’s quality of making affect in being the other without any expectations of mentioning the affect’s word. He associates becoming with the image of Krapp asserting that he is no longer human, or passive as Western culture has labeled him for centuries; he craves for other rather than I, and that is why the fusion of things in such writing is regarded as a usual characteristic.
At the end, it should be reemphasized that in analyzing Becket’s three plays- Krapp’s Last Tape, Endgame, and Not I, the researcher will not go any further from the notions mentioned in this chapter. This research does not intend to focus on notions such as the universal and personal one, or the gesture and aim of one. Moreover, the researcher will not go through any specific review of history of cinema since the research is not going to be a historical or philosophical study of writing in Western Culture, nor is it the analysis of its general stylistic and rhetorical principles.
1.5Approach and Methodology
This research is not a mere anti-humanist analysis of Samuel Becket’s three plays, Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape and Not I, since it serves to examine these works via Gilles Deleuze’s tenets that are influenced by Derridean deconstructive methods and Freudean Psychoanalytic theories. Therefore, this research mainly centers on Deleuze’s poststructuralist theories in foregrounding creative literature writing along with some aspects of his deconstructive and psychoanalytic studies applicable to Becket’s three chosen plays.
In this respect, the first objective the researcher pursues is to focus on is the application of Deleuze’s notion of process of a becoming reborn from the traditional system in Samuel Becket’s four characters Krapp, Clov , Hamm, and the woman’s mouth. As asserted in his book Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Deleuze insists that after ages of internalizing the fact of being kept in the dark world, in the margin of humanity systems, these silent humans are given chances to come out of their dark zone and speak proudly about their repressed drives so as to celebrate their newborn life (497-97). Hence, the present