“Sentimental Claptrap”: Lost Cowboys, Dead Horses, and the Discarded in Sam Shepard’s Play Kicking a Dead Horse


  • Blake Westerlund University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire




This critical essay examines how in the play Kicking a Dead Horse playwright Sam Shepard discards traditional images of the West to celebrate song and dance.

Author Biography

Blake Westerlund, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

English Department, assistant professor


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Siegel, Mark. “Holy Ghosts: The Mythic Cowboy in the Plays of Sam Shepard.” Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. 36.4 (1982): 235–246. Print.

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Varro, Gabriella. “Versions of the Clown in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Sam Shepard’s Kicking a Dead Horse.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies. 16.1–2. (2010): 206– 223. Print.

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How to Cite

Westerlund, B. (2015). “Sentimental Claptrap”: Lost Cowboys, Dead Horses, and the Discarded in Sam Shepard’s Play Kicking a Dead Horse. Pivot: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies and Thought, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.25071/2369-7326.39144



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