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The Godot Phenomenon

• The play was concluded on 29 January 1949

and opened at the Théâtre de Babylone in
January 1953.
• It was greeted with some incomprehension
and hostility.
• The players did not give up and the play
gradually acquired a cult status and became the
“must see” of the theatrical season.
• Sucess in German: resonated powerfully with
German audiences.
• Success around the globe: A phenomenon that
is not tied into particular or specific social or
historical circumstances.
• Beckett was disturbed by the fuss and
confusion (his terms) generated by his play in
the fifties and beyond. His view was simple,
even programmatic.
• Beckett to American theatre director Alan
Schneider in December 1957:
• “My work is a matter of fundamental
sounds (no joke intended), made as fully as
possible, and I accept responsibility for
nothing else. If people want to have
headaches among the overtones, let them.
And provide their own aspirin.”