A bodily haunting: The woman's wordless scream on Samuel Beckett's stage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The woman’s wordless scream in Not I and Happy Days acts as a spectral-yet-embodied rendering of unspoken and apparently unspeakable sexual trauma. If trauma symptomology is itself a form of bodily haunting—the past intruding into the present—the wordless scream performs this phenomenon on Beckett’s stage, as a disruptive return of the repressed through the body itself. This essay explores how the performed scream returns embodied trauma to embodied expression in Not I and Happy Days, emphasising the voice as a simultaneously spectral yet profoundly corporeal force. It then examines the potential therapeutic effect of the scream in performance, drawing on a range of actor testimonies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalSamuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui (SBT/A)
Issue number1
Early online date13 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Happy Days
  • Not I
  • scream
  • woman
  • trauma
  • voice
  • Samuel Beckett


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