Beckett’s Purgatory through Dante, Joyce and the Absurd

Rodrigo Inacio Freitas


This article aims to develop a brief explanation on Beckett’s theatre, how this famous Irish author had read Dante’s Divina Commedia and how deeply this literature had influenced in some aspects (especially aesthetical and narrative) the compositions written by Beckett, as well as to identify some correlations between the literary trajectory of Beckett and the purgatorial experience developed by Dante. In both authors there is a way through which their characters face the universal forces and the possibility to overcome their sins, purify their souls and achieve another state of narrative/personal living. It is not possible to track this path without facing Joyce as a middle term between the Florentine author and the Dubliner one, not as a kind of ascending level, but as a bridge that connects them particularly through the Joyce-Beckett partnership in Ulysses and how Beckett was introduced to the Commedia, probably in 1923-24.


Dante Alighieri; Samuel Beckett; Theodor Adorno; Theater of the Absurd

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DOI: 10.3895/rde.v11n19.12801


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