Sound and silence: Samuel Beckett's audio plays
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This thesis examines the significance of Samuel Beckett's use of audio technology as a means of presentation for drama in three plays written in the 1950s: All That Fall, Krapp's Last Tape, and Embers. Beckett's foregrounding of the auditory over the visual transposes the site of action for the plays from the stage to the minds of the individual listeners while displacing and interrupting expectations for typical theater. Each play is discussed individually in terms of the presentation of its auditory experience, the effect the play's medium of presentation has on audience perception, and the way in which the interplay of sound and silence structures the play's content. The author demonstrates that Becektt's writing technique in each play combines elements of the novel, the stage play, and the radio drama by employing elements of each genre in the individual plays. The work explores the significance of repeated thematic elements in each play, specifically the journeys (mental and physical) undertaken by each character, the role of memory as a journey into the past, and the linked forces of time and silence which eventually bring about the end of each play.