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A Freudian Reading of Beckett’s Endgame and Pinter’s The Caretaker

Zena Dhia Mohammed & Dheyaa Khaleel Nayel,

University of Karbala, Iraq

Psychoanalysis is one of the most controversial and critical approaches to literature, and it  is embedded in the idea that humans have unconscious yearnings and are the  outcome of  different  forces correlating their unconscious drives and their suppressed feelings, apart from the manipulation of different social and cultural conditions. Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) and Harold Pinter (1930-2008), two of the most highly regarded playwrights and major proponents of the ‘Theater of Absurd’, have captured the anxiety and ambiguity of life in the second half of the 20th century, and often their works depicted the absurdity, meaningless and bewilderment of human existence in the post-World War II era. The destruction brought about by the war affected the personal, social and political life of millions of people all over Europe and created a sense of severe depression, self-fragmentation, and mental conflicts within human beings. This paper approaches Beckett’s Endgame (1957) and Pinter’s The Caretaker (1960) from a psychological perspective as it provides a perception of human nature, its anxieties, cravings, conflicting impulses, and hidden motivation. Moreover, it delineates the different psychological features and hidden layers of the plays under study. Finally, the study reaches a conclusion that contributes to our perception of psychological theories and allows us to better understand our complex psyche and experiences of the world.

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Fifth Annual International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 2-3 February 2021, Iran-Ahwaz.