Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot

Born #OTD in 1906, Samuel Beckett ranks as one of the most influential playwrights in history and having spent much of his life in France he was equally at home writing in French and English.

He was born in south Dublin in 1906 and attended the Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, where he excelled as a cricketer and would go on to play for Dublin University when a student there studying French, Italian, and English.

While he was a student in Paris for two years he was introduced to James Joyce and helped him as a researcher, a relationship that had a major impact on the young Beckett and instilled in him the confidence to become a writer himself. He began writing poetry, fiction and essays and later returned to Trinity to become a lecturer in 1930.

He left the post in 1931 however and began travelling around Europe and made his first forays into a career as a writer. He moved to Paris permanently in 1938 and during the war was a courier for the French Resistance. It was in the post war years that he wrote many of his best known works that forged his reputation as an exemplar of Modernism and the absurd.

His first play was Waiting for Godot that he completed in French in 1952 and became one of the most influential dramatic works ever written. Other significant plays by Beckett include Endgame, 1957; Krapp’s Last Tape, 1958; Happy Days, 1961 and Footfalls in 1976. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and died in Paris in 1989 at the age of 83.

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