• Gloria Bernar
Keywords: biblical allusion, explicit, implicit, stylistic devices and biblical lexicon


This article deals with allusion used by Samuel Beckett in his early plays “Waiting for Godot” and “Endgame”. As the main reader of Beckett’s plays is an intellectual reader, the central stylistic device is an allusion relying on the reader’s profound knowledge of the Bible. The structure of the allusion can be various – from a word or a short phrase to a whole sentence or a passage. Very often Beckettian allusion contains stylistic devices among which are rhetorical questions, parallel constructions, detachment, epithet, metaphor and different graphical means. The function of these stylistic devices is to add expressiveness or colouring, emphasize certain idea, give the author’s vision of the problem or reflect his attitude. Except for quotations and characters from the Bible, the texts of the plays are filled with biblical lexicon. The playwright uses not only explicit allusions, when the very name or quote from the Bible is given in the text in its original or slightly modified form, but also implicit allusions, when the reader should take a hint as the idea is given in indirect way. Both plays focus on core Christian values and concepts like sincere repentance, mercy, compassion, hope, salvation, predestination, punishment and sinfulness.

How to Cite
Bernar, G. (2019). ALLUSION IN S. BECKETT’S PLAYS “WAITING FOR GODOT” AND “ENDGAME”. Scientific Notes of Ostroh Academy National University: Philology Series, (7(75), 95-98. Retrieved from