Molloy by Samuel Beckett

By Samuel Beckett

Molloy, the 1st of the 3 masterpieces which represent Samuel Beckett’s recognized trilogy, seemed in French in 1951, seven months later by means of Malone Dies (Malone meurt) and years later through The Unnamable (L’Innommable). Few works of up to date literature were so universally acclaimed as important to their time and to our realizing of the human event.

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2. If the texts, religions, and myths had meaning in the past, they are no longer significant in the modern world. As Frazer’s Golden Bough teaches, they are simply myths. C. Maybe? It depends on how you interpret the poem. 1. Any reader’s interpretation of the poem is subjective; this subjectivity is entirely in keeping with the assumptions of Modernism. 2. The meaning of the poem is a product of the reader’s interpretation; this has always been true of Grail texts as far back as Chrétien’s. Grail texts always teach their readers how to interpret the Grail.

2. Morgaine, outraged by this act of desecration, acting as the Goddess herself, seizes the cup and carries it around the church, giving drink to all who are there in a ritual that recognizes the Goddess. Initiates of the Goddess recognize her and her service. 3. But the Christians present believe they see an angel, some holy maiden, even Jesus’ mother Mary holding the cup. Patricius says it was the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper and terms it the Holy Grail. 4. Arthur’s knights, as in the Quest of the Holy Grail, swear to seek the Grail for a year and a day.

Standing at his right is “Ecclesia,” representing the Christian church; she holds a chalice in which she collects blood spilling from the wound in Jesus’ side. This symbol of the personified Church holding a chalice is inspired by Jesus’ words over the wine cup at the Last Supper: “This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you” (Luke 22: 20). The picture of Ecclesia with a chalice then is a way of depicting the beginning of Christianity itself, the New Covenant, at the moment Jesus’ blood is shed.

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