Beckett: the loss of distinction between the body and language
Hatipoğlu, Özüm (2009) Beckett: the loss of distinction between the body and language. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1276464 (Table of Contents)
This thesis discusses how the corporeality (physicality and materiality) of language makes it untenable to view the body and language as entirely distinct categories, particularly in drama. When language is made to act instead of mean, the distinction between the body and language is removed. Schizophrenia is a good example to illustrate what is meant by the effacement of the boundary between the body and language, because it is the inability to coordinate between materiality and signification. Materialization of the fragmented body and subject through the physicality of language is where the distinction between the body and language gets lost. I think it is at this point that theatre attempts to free itself from the constraints of representation. Instead of dealing with metaphors, symbols and analogies, a text is put into action through the materiality and physicality of language. The poststructuralist deconstruction of the unified subject and subjectivity, especially in relation to the constructive and performative aspects of language casts light on an important dimension of the move away from the classical representational paradigm and why theatre seeks to be nonrepresentational to find its own voice. Beckett is one of the writers who questioned and blurred the boundary between the body and language. In this thesis, I discuss the possibilities Beckett created in terms of freeing theater from the constraints of representation and meaning through the plays Not I, Act Without Words II, What Where, and Play.
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