When Samuel Beckett first came to international prominence with the success of Waiting for Godot, many critics believed the play was divorced from any recognisable context. The two tramps, and the master and servant they encounter, seemed to represent no one and everyone. Today, critics challenge the assumption that Beckett aimed to break definitively with context, highlighting images, allusions and motifs that tether Beckett's writings to real people, places and issues in his life. This wide-ranging collection of essays from 37 renowned Beckett scholars reveals how extensively Beckett entered into dialogue with important literary traditions and the realities of his time. Drawing on his major works, as well as on a range of letters and theoretical notebooks, the essays are designed to complement each other, building a broad overview that will allow students and scholars to come away with a better sense of Beckett's life, writings and legacy.