Psychic spaces in three plays by Samuel Beckettthe abjected semiotic intruding in to the symbolic

DEMİR, Betül
This thesis examines the intrusion of the abjected semiotic into the symbolic in Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Happy Daysby Samuel Beckett. A survey of studies in drama finds that the recent spatial turn has largely ignored spaces of drama, and that the current state of spatial criticism alone cannot adequately explain spaces in the drama of Beckett. Spatial binarism and the imagery of death, being relevant in these plays, are used as the initial steps for investigating psychic spatialityin the drama of Beckett and provide the analytical tools of this thesis. Furthermore, these elements of the plays also repeatedly demonstrate the very concerns that Kristeva refers to in her theory of the symbolic, the semiotic and abjection. According toKristeva, the subject-to-be becomes a subject in the symbolic and the semiotic no longer exists after the thetic break. There may still be, however, vestiges or residues of the semiotic that may appear as abjected elements such as death. The hypothesis ofthis thesis is thatinthe aforementioned plays Beckettshowstheintrusion of the abjected semioticinto thesymbolic, and thisis donethrough thefollowingthree steps: firstly, a spatial binarism is created between the onstageand offstage spacesat the beginning of each play; secondly, gradual information is provided through language and actions of the characters about the offstage space that is depicted with imagesof deaththroughout the plays; thirdly, the imagery of death or the abjected semiotic initially abjected to the offstage space intrudes into the onstage space and the order in the onstage space is broken at the end of each play. Therefore, itis suggested that, in the drama of Beckett, the abjected semiotic intrudes into the symbolic but that this has no outcome, because the symbolic cannot deal with these abjected semiotic vestiges.


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Citation Formats
B. DEMİR, “Psychic spaces in three plays by Samuel Beckettthe abjected semiotic intruding in to the symbolic,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2021.