Sam Shepard’s Kicking a Dead Horse (2007) has been censured by many critics for its repetition of Shepard’s favorite theme of the American legendry West and the playwright’s recurrent experimentation with Samuel Beckett’s theatre of absurd dramaturgy. This study argues that the play garners its uniqueness from two aspects: The prophetic vision of America’s decline, which links the play to the genre of apocalyptic writing, and the resurrection of Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, which involves the audience emotionally and makes them positive viewers of the potential decline. This reading of the play emphasizes Shepard’s thematic and theatrical innovation and his ability to dig deep into the American psyche to address critical concerns of the new millennium America