The Mathematical Language and Performance in Beckett’s Happy Days

Jing YU


Happy Days is one of the masterpieces of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), and includes many mathematical concepts, logics and thoughts. This thesis will analyze this play again, from a brand-new perspective of mathematics, respectively focusing on its stage setting—the gradually rising mound and the heroin’s buried body can be performed by the mathematical concepts of Limit and Sequence; then its characters—Winnie and Willie’s psycho-situation and relationship can be presented by the standard conic of Hyperbola in mathematics; and finally, its language—the features of the couple’s speeches can also be displayed by the Hyperbola. This thesis demonstrates the important inner relationships between Happy Days (literature) and mathematics, penetrating into the essence of the play by using mathematical analysis, and promoting the interdisciplinary study.Key Words: Happy Days; mathematics; interdisciplinary study

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