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Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Samuel Beckett (Ireland, 1906-1989)

Waiting for Godot is a tragic comedy in two acts that opened in Paris in 1953. The story revolves around two men, Vladamir and Estragon, waiting for someone named Godot. They wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, and the drama circles around their conversation with each other. Godot never arrives, and his absence results in conversation and wordplay on poetic, religious and philosophical matters. It has been theorized the exchange of hats between the two is a symbolic desire in the two men for each others’ thoughts.

Beckett regretted calling the absent character Godot because of the theories involving God, which the name suggests. “I also told [Ralph] Richardson that if by Godot I had meant God I would [have] said God, and not Godot. This seemed to disappoint him greatly,” Beckett said. Then later, “It would be fatuous of me to pretend that I am not aware of the meanings attached to the word ‘Godot,’ and the opinion of many that it means ‘God.’ But you must remember – I wrote the play in French, and if I did have that meaning in my mind, it was somewhere in my unconscious and I was not overtly aware of it.”

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William Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865-1939)

William Butler Yeats (Ireland, 1865-1939)

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

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