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UNIVERSITY OF BAGHDAD

THE ABSENCE OF GENDER
IN
ALL MALE PLAYS
(WITH REFERENCE TO BECKETT’S AND PINTER’S SELECTED WORKS)

A THESIS
SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL OF THE
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION FOR WOMEN
THE UNIVERSITY OF BAGHDAD
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS
IN
ENGLISH LITERATURE

BY
IKHLAS MUHAMMED NATI

SUPERVISOR
ASST. PROF. MAYADA KASSIM Al-Gailani

FEBRUARY 2006

بِسِمِ اَلله الرَحمنَ الَرَحَيم

وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلإِنَسنِ إِلآَّ مَا سَعَى* وَأَنَّ سَعْيَهُ سَوْفَ يُرَى*

صَدَقَ اَللهُ العَظيم
(سورة النجم 39-40)

I certify that this thesis was prepared under my supervision at the University of Baghdad as a partial requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in English Literature.

Signature:
Advisor:
Date:

In view of the available recommendations, I forward this thesis for debate by the Examining Committee.

Signature:
Name:
Chairman of the English Department
Committee on Graduate Studies
in English Literature
Date:

We certify that we have read this thesis and as Examining Committee examined the student in its context and that in our opinion it is adequate as a thesis for the degree of Master of Arts in English Literature.

Signature:Signature:
Name:Name:
MemberMember

Signature:Signature:
Name:Name:
MemberChairman
Date:

Approved for the Council of the College of Education for Women.

Signature:
Name:
Dean of the College of Education for Women
Date:

To my mother’s soul,
may God bless her.
And to my father,
for all his love and support.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION: THE THEATRE OF
THE ABSURD: HISTORICAL
BACKGROUND, MEANING
AND CHARACTERISTICS 1
NOTES 20
CHAPTER TWO - THE ABSENCE OF GENDER IN
BECKETT’S ALL MALE PLAYS
Waiting for Godot (1953) 30
Krapp’s Last Tape (1958) 40
That Time (1976) 47
A Piece of Monologue (1979) 54
NOTES 60
CHAPTER THREE - THE ABSENCE OF GENDER IN
PINTER’S ALL MALE PLAYS
The Caretaker (1960) 72
The Dumb Waiter (1960) 82
The Dwarfs (1960) 89
No Man’s Land (1975) 98
NOTES 111
CONCLUSION 117
BIBLIOGRAPHY 120
ABSTRACT IN ARABIC 129

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my sincere thanks, gratitude and admiration to my supervisor, Asst. Prof. Mayada Kassim Al-Gailani, for the invaluable encouragement, assistance and patience she has shown during the time of writing the thesis. I would like to extend my thanks to the dean of the college, head of the department and the staff of English department in general. Special thanks are also to my instructors during the courses. My sincere thanks are also due to my friends Mayada Zuhair, Rwayda Ahmed and Maysoon Taheer for their support. Thanks are also due to the librarians of Ikra’a Library for providing me with references. Finally, my family members, especially my sister, deserve a word of thanks for their patience, love and cooperation.

ABSTRACT

In the meaningless and faithless age past-second world war, it was no longer possible to keep using such traditional art forms and standards that had ceased being convincing and lost their validity for this the emergence of a new kind of theatre was needed in such circumstances. Thus, the Theatre of the Absurd came as a reaction to the disorder, chaos and absurdity people faced at those horrible times. Two prominent twentieth-century playwrights, Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) and Harold Pinter (1930- ), portrayed this absurdity and difficulties of modern age in a novel way. They attempted seriously to show, in their dramatic treatments, the dilemma of obliterated figures who are unable to feel their own...
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