Samuel Beckett Biography

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He befriended the famous Irish novelist James Joyce, and his first published work was an essay on Joyce. Between 1951 and 1953, Beckett wrote his most famous novels, the trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnameable.

Waiting for Godot, Beckett's first play, was written originally in French in 1948 (Beckett himself subsequently translated the play into English). It premiered at a tiny theater in Paris in 1953. This play began Beckett's association with the Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later playwrights like Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.

The most famous of Beckett's subsequent plays include Endgame (1958) and Krapp's Last Tape (1959). He also wrote several even more experimental plays, like Breath (1969), a thirty-second play. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969 and died in 1989 in Paris.


Samuel Beckett Quotes

If by Godot I had meant God I would have said God, and not Godot.

It means what it says.

Samuel Beckett Theater

Human Wishes

Published c. 1936; published 1984


Published written 1947 in French; published in French 1995, and English 1996

En attendant Godot

Published published 1952, performed,1953

Acte sans Paroles I

Published 1956; Act Without Words I

Acte sans Paroles II

Published 1956; Act Without Words II

Fin de partie

Published published 1957; Endgame

Krapp's Last Tape

Published first performed 1958

Fragment de théâtre I

Published late 1950s; Rough for Theatre I

Fragment de théâtre II

Published late 1950s; Rough for Theatre II

Happy Days

Published first performed 1961; Oh les beaux jours


Published performed in German, as Spiel, 1963; English version 1964

Come and Go

Published first performed in German, then English, 1966


Published first performed 1969

Not I

Published first performed 1972

That Time

Published first performed 1976


Published first performed 1976


Published 1977

A Piece of Monologue

Published first performed 1979


Published first performed 1981

Ohio Impromptu

Published first performed 1981


Published Catastrophe et autres dramatiques, first performed 1982

What Where

Published first performed 1983

Samuel Beckett Novels


Published 1951; English version

Malone meurt

Published 1951; Malone Dies


Published 1953; The Unnamable

Comment c'est

Published 1961; How It Is

Mercier and Camier

Published written 1946, published 1970; English translation