A Corpus-Based Approach to Waiting for Godot’s Stage Directions: A Comparison between the French and the English Version

  • Pablo Ruano San Segundo


This research paper is based on a corpus-based methodology and undertakes a fresh assessment of Beckett’s self-translations of stage directions in Waiting for Godot and En Attendant Godot. Beyond shaping the ongoing dramatic situation, stage directions may also function as a means of character definition and identification within the making of a play from a textual point of view. As a result of their dispersed nature, however, the systematicity with which some of them are used tends to go unnoticed, since their recurrence is not easy to spot with the naked eye. Thanks to a corpus-based approach, though, it is possible to identify these authorial comments and show that there are certain stage directions which tend to be associated with a specific character. This study will be limited to those stage directions which indicate how utterances are to be carried out, firstly in the final English version, then in comparison with the earlier French text. Results will reinforce the idea that Beckett’s self-translations should not be regarded as mere reproductions of their originals, but refinements—as part of a continuous process of craftsmanship.


Waiting for Godot En attendant Godot Corpus-based approach Stage directions Self-translation 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Ruano San Segundo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Filología InglesaFacultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de ExtremaduraCáceresSpain

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