Beckett's Not I is a powerful, yet short play. Its only character is a disembodied mouth, which recounts to viewers the tragic story of its life. The voice describes four important events from its life:
- Lying face down in the grass
- Standing in a supermarket
- Sitting on a mound in Croker's Acre
- And "that time at court"
The mouth describes these events through jumbled sentences, which are uttered at a ferocious pace. Although Not I's dialog is important, much of the play's power comes from the way in which it is delivered. The frantic nature of the voice helps audiences to unearth the play's meaning.
Beckett himself has said that he hoped this play would "work on the nerves of the audience, not its intellect." In other words, his dream for the play is to stir feelings within those who watch it rather than making them think about it on a logical level. Try re-watching the play and focusing on the feelings Not I arouses in you for more clarity on the specific emotions Beckett hoped to inspire.
Not I is a...
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