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That “Vaulty Night”: Trials, Testimonies, and Critiques of Justice in Beckett’s Panopticon Prison-stage

Diver, AR (2018) That “Vaulty Night”: Trials, Testimonies, and Critiques of Justice in Beckett’s Panopticon Prison-stage. Law, Culture and the Humanities. ISSN 1743-8721

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Abstract

Beckettian justice avoids the usual scripts of judicial processes: his trials and punishments merge, as his captive characters lock themselves into eerily repetitive, self-questioning loops of semi-existence. His prison-cell courtrooms critique the wider socio-cultural symbolism associated with indefinite incarceration and unduly harsh sentences, questioning whether retributive sanctions have the power to redeem, or to spark atonement. By turning vague but terrifying recollections into accusatory witness statements, Beckett crafts purgatories grounded in endless perception. Audiences must therefore act as jurors and gaolers: by witnessing the various “crimes” of omission (neglect, abandonment, unintentional cruelty) we are perhaps better placed to judge our own failings and frailties and capacity for resilience. © 2018, The Author(s) 2018.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1801 Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: School of Law
Publisher: Sage
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 12:09
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 08:37
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/1743872118786230
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9221

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