Samuel Beckett’s life was one that was filled with turmoil and great distress. Using his writing skills, he combined his own emotions into the creation of his amazing yet bizarre works. His core, however, was that the most entertaining thing possible was unhappiness. Beckett’s work incorporated his own emotional distresses in his life as a source of venting, an outlet in which he would not be consumed by his severe depression that he suffered from.
Prior to Samuel Beckett delving into the art of theatre, he suffered from depression. These emotions resulted from his father’s shame of Becket’s decision to leave his teaching job, as well as the crushing psychological pain he suffered after the death of his father later on. With his escalating depression, Beckett took the initiative to seek psychological help. Beckett began to grow an interest in psychology, causing him to bring forth a new manner in which amplified his writing forever.
Two of Beckett’s most interesting plays were Eleutheria and Act without Words. These works represented Beckett’s raw psychological influences that took place early in his life.
Written in 1947, Samuel Beckett’s first play was titled Eleutheria. Eleutheria revolves around a writer who is obsessed with distancing himself from both his family and friends, who futilely try to heal his depression.
Eleutheria was published in 1995 against Beckett’s refusal of its publication. Right before Beckett died in 1989, he claimed that it was only a source in which he wrote frustrations on life as if it were a journal brought to life; the play related to his life and that he did not want his friends or family to happen upon the link between the play and reality.
In Act without Words, released in 1956, Beckett brings about a play bursting with symbolism. The play consists of two acts; revolving around a single person that is trapped in a desert by an unknown force. This force that proceeds throughout the play is an essential part of the story because it symbolizes the challenges we face in life. The play goes on as the desperate man is slowly granted objects in order to survive in the barren desert.
Just as quickly as these objects are added to the scene, they are taken away from the character, symbolizing that life can be so generous at times, yet so cruel in others. One of the major props in this play is a jug of water that floats around the main character. The main character is always aspiring to acquire it, but fails repeatedly. This symbolizes how close one can be to a goal in life, yet be so far away. Much like Beckett’s life, Act without Words displays how he continuously works towards his goal of making his most current piece greater than his last.
Samuel Beckett had many issues in his life, one that ruled the majority of his life was his depression, displayed in a handful of his plays. His life was plagued by one tragedy after another. Prior to his jump in theatre, Beckett sought help and eventually acquired a new view on life. Later in life his complications with his parents as well as their deaths altered his views on life. Ultimately, Beckett’s life was full of trials that heavily influenced his works in all aspects, allowing him to write some of the most theatrical altering plays ever written.