Diagrams, Formalism, and Structural Homology in Beckett’s Come and Go

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The author suggests a way of broadening the "classical" semiotics of theater to include diagrams within the scope of application of the icon to this art. The explanatory power latent in diagrams is emphasized to explicate the way the message of the performace as a whole is created and conveyed. An analysis of the way diagrams function may shed new light on the cognitive aspect of the theatrical enterprise. The performance of Samuel Beckett's "Come and Go" serves as a representative of a class of theatrical works whose semiotic mechanism is based on diagrammatic iconicity. C.S. Peirce's analysis of the iconic character of mathematical formulae and his exploration of the functioning of mathematical diagrams as a tool for discovering new facts about supposed states of affairs are cited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of dramatic theory and criticism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Authors
  • Beckett, Samuel
  • Come and Go
  • Dramatic Structure
  • English Literature
  • Formalism
  • Iconicity
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics in literature
  • Peirce, Charles Sanders
  • Semiotics
  • Semiotics and literature
  • Theater
  • Twentieth Century


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