Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The body in parts : rethinking agency in Samuel Beckett's theatre
Author: Guthrie, Corinna
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 5945
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
It is a paradox noted by S.E. Gontarski among others, that Beckett on the one hand revels in the materiality, the ‘concreteness’ of the body in performance, whilst at the same time continually working to undermine and subvert it.1 In doing so, as Gontarski implies, Beckett problematises traditional notions of the autonomous ‘individual’ as the seat of subjectivity, of the actor’s body as the centre of theatrical representation, and of character as a unifying principle within a narrative which exists in an analogous relation to reality. I examine these tendencies in terms of what I call 'the body in parts', in relation to a range of theoretical reference points including the aesthetics of puppetry (with reference to Kleist’s ‘On the Marionette Theatre’ among other sources) and the post-phenomenological philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy. My analysis is divided into four chapters, each of which takes a specific body part, eye, hand, ear, and mouth, as a point of entry, drawing on Beckett’s own critical and theoretical writings in order to re-think the question of subjectivity in his work, and re-position agency beyond the boundaries of the integrated, self-present human body.
Supervisor: Ffrench, Raymond Patrick ; Malt, Johanna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available