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Godot, an Israeli Critic

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image of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui

Godot is not only offstage, he is the personification of offstage. Though years of (missed) encounters have passed since he was absent from his first appearance in 1955, Israelis still regard him as born and bred in their own neighbourhood. As a once-new immigrant to a country of immigrants, Godot’s familiarity has rapidly developed, and from one Israeli production to the next he has grown to be a doppelgänger, an open-eyed though mute spokesman, an active and activating contradiction in terms: a dark mirror held up to Israeli values, ideas and behaviours. As an unseen, aggressively passive partner, Godot has been harnessed to absorb and then project major Israeli mental, social, political and ideological issues and identities.

Affiliations: 1: Professor Emeritus, Theatre Studies, Tel Aviv University, Israel shilev@gmail.com

10.1163/18757405-02902008
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2017-01-01
2018-11-16

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