‘in control… under control’: Not I, sexual trauma, and rape play

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Allusions to gendered violence and sexual assault in Samuel Beckett’s works raise difficult questions in today’s classroom and theatre auditoria. So too does the physical subjugation that Beckett’s female actors often endure on stage. How far might our post-#MeToo sensibilities usefully inform our reading of instances of gendered subjugation and sexualised violence in Beckett’s theatre? This article focuses on Not I as a playtext that combines intimations of sexual assault with a history of female actors suffering physically in performance. It uses the lens of rape play—enacted for therapeutic value within the BDSM community for sexual assault survivors—to read Not I as an embodied trauma narrative, and to open up discussion of forms of coercion and consent in Beckett’s work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-38
JournalSamuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui (SBT/A)
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Not I
  • trauma
  • rape
  • sexual violence
  • women
  • consent

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