20th Century English Literature
The place to start is that Godot's name has a G-O-D in it. of Estragon and Vladimir—Gogo and Didi—which together are reminiscent of the name in question. of relationship between the main text and the embedded text, with some attention to thieves in Didi's story do not precisely mirror Gogo and Didi. However, as .. to the blasphemy that the Bible is no more God's word than man's fiction. In. "Faith in God has almost vanished," Brooks Atkinson wrote in reviewing the original Broadway production for The New York Times in April
Vladimir is often very quick to change his mind. When he learns of Lucky's long term of service to Pozzo, he becomes angry with Pozzo for mistreating his servant. However, when Pozzo gets upset and says that he cannot bear it any longer, Vladimir quickly transfers his anger to Lucky, whom he reproaches for mistreating his master after so many years. This illustrates how Vladimir's opinion can be easily swayed by a change in circumstances.
In this section we see the first suggestions that Vladimir and Estragon might represent all of humanity. When Pozzo first enters, he notes that Vladimir and Estragon are of the same species as he is, "made in God's image.
Pozzo's inquiry about how Vladimir and Estragon found him suggests that Pozzo is giving a performance. This notion is reinforced when he has Lucky perform for them.
It seems that Pozzo and Lucky appear primarily to entertain Vladimir and Estragon--after Pozzo and Luck leave, the other two men comment that their presence helped the time pass more rapidly.
Pozzo's failure to depart anticipates the way that Vladimir and Estragon remain waiting at the end of each of the acts, after saying they will depart. However, even after saying, "I don't seem to be able to depart," Pozzo does actually manage to leave. Pozzo moves on while Vladimir and Estragon remain fixed even as the curtain falls at the end of each act. Pozzo and Lucky's Exit to Conclusion This section begins with the most commonly repeated dialogue in the play, in which Estragon wants to go and Vladimir tells him that they are waiting for Godot.
This section provides evidence for a religious reading of the play as Estragon compares himself to Christ when he decides to go barefoot. When Vladimir tells him not to compare himself to Christ, Estragon responds that "all my life I've compared myself to him. This indicates that the actions presented in the first act of the play may have happened before, calling attention to events that occur outside the frame of the play.
The same thing occurs when Vladimir asks the boy if he came yesterday, revealing that they were waiting yesterday with the same result. This suggests that the same events have been going on for some time; the two acts of the play are merely two instances in a long pattern of ceaselessly repeating events.
The end of Act I establishes Vladimir and Estragon's hopelessness. Even when they both agree to go, and Vladimir says "Yes, let's go," the two men do not move. Even their resolution to go is not strong enough to produce action. This inability to act renders Vladimir and Estragon unable to determine their own fates. Instead of acting, they can only wait for someone or something to act upon them.
The two verses follow each other in succession so that it can be sung forever, although here Vladimir only sings each verse twice. This song is a representation of the repetitive nature of the play as a whole and of Vladimir and Estragon's circular lives. Like the verses of the song, the events of their lives follow one after another, again and again, with no apparent beginning or end.
The hat switching incident is another illustration of the endless, often mindless, repetition that seems to characterize the play. Like Vladimir's song at the beginning of Act II, the hat switching could go on perpetually and only stops when Vladimir decides arbitrarily to put an end to it. Vladimir and Estragon's discussion about the noise made by "all the dead voices" brings back the theme of Estragon repeating himself to end a string of conversation.
Three times in a row, Estragon repeats his phrase, with silence following each repetition. Estragon's repetition of the phrases "like leaves" and "they rustle" emphasizes these phrases, especially since Estragon comes back to "like leaves" in the third part of their discussion. In this section we see again Vladimir's desire to protect Estragon. He believes that the primary reason Estragon returns to him every day, despite his declarations that he is happier alone, is that he needs Vladimir to help him defend himself.
Whether or not Vladimir actually does protect Estragon, Vladimir clearly feels that this duty and responsibility define their relationship. Estragon's statement that he will go and get a carrot, followed by the stage directions "he does not move," recalls their immobility in Act I's conclusion, and is another illustration of the way that the characters do not act on their words or intentions.
Vladimir recognizes this problem after he decides that they should try on the boots; he says impatiently, "let us persevere in what we have resolved, before we forget. Pozzo and Lucky Scene Here again Vladimir seems to recognize the problem of inaction when he decides that they should help Pozzo. He becomes suddenly vehement and shouts, "Let us not waste our time in idle discourse!
Let us do something, while we have the chance! This suggests that, even with good intentions and resolution, the habit of inaction cannot be broken immediately. In this speech Vladimir also declares that at this point, "all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Estragon also illustrates the parallel between the two men and the rest of humanity when he tells Vladimir that "billions" of people can also claim that they have kept their appointment.
In this case Vladimir attempts to distinguish them from the rest of mankind, but Estragon insists that they are actually the same. Another biblical allusion is presented here through the comparison of Pozzo and Lucky to Cain and Abel. However, when Pozzo responds to the names Cain and Abel, Estragon decides that "he's all humanity. Vladimir's need of Estragon's help in order to get up is somewhat of a role reversal. For a brief exchange, Estragon holds the power in the relationship as Vladimir calls to him for help.
However, when Estragon does finally stretch out his hand to help Vladimir up, he only falls himself. This seems to indicate that Estragon does not belong in this position of power and responsibility and cannot act to fulfill it. Pozzo and Lucky's Exit to Conclusion By this point in the play, the dialogue about waiting for Godot has been repeated so many times that even Estragon knows it. Every time he asked Vladimir to go previously, they went through the entire dialogue about why they could not go.
However, this time, Estragon goes through a miniature version of this dialogue by himself: Similarly, by the time the boy arrives in Act II, Vladimir already knows what he will say, and the boy does not have to tell him anything. This suggests that this dialogue has occurred many times before and furthers the indication that the play is just a representative sample of the larger circle that defines Vladimir and Estragon's lives.
The play's conclusion echoes the end of Act I. Even the stage directions reflect this similarity: The repetition of the final two lines from the previous act at the play's conclusion shows the continued importance of repetition and parallelism in Waiting for Godot. However, the characters have switched lines from the previous act, suggesting that ultimately, despite their differences, Vladimir and Estragon are really interchangeable after all. What do you think is the most effective way that Beckett presents repetition in Waiting for Godot?
He confesses to a poor memory but it is more a result of an abiding self-absorption. That's why he overdoes things These were things Beckett said, psychological terms he used.
Lucky is the absolutely subservient slave of Pozzo and he unquestioningly does his every bidding with "dog-like devotion". Lucky speaks only once in the play and it is a result of Pozzo's order to "think" for Estragon and Vladimir. Pozzo and Lucky have been together for sixty years and, in that time, their relationship has deteriorated. Lucky has always been the intellectually superior but now, with age, he has become an object of contempt: Despite his horrid treatment at Pozzo's hand however, Lucky remains completely faithful to him.
Even in the second act when Pozzo has inexplicably gone blind, and needs to be led by Lucky rather than driving him as he had done before, Lucky remains faithful and has not tried to run away; they are clearly bound together by more than a piece of rope in the same way that Didi and Gogo are "[t]ied to Godot".
Beckett struggled to retain the French atmosphere as much as possible, so that he delegated all the English names and places to Lucky, whose own name, he thought, suggested such a correlation. The boy in Act I, a local lad, assures Vladimir that this is the first time he has seen him.
He says he was not there the previous day. He confirms he works for Mr. Godot as a goatherd. His brother, whom Godot beats, is a shepherd. Godot feeds both of them and allows them to sleep in his hayloft.
The boy in Act II also assures Vladimir that it was not he who called upon them the day before. He insists that this too is his first visit. When Vladimir asks what Godot does the boy tells him, "He does nothing, sir.
This boy also has a brother who it seems is sick but there is no clear evidence to suggest that his brother is the boy that came in Act I or the one who came the day before that. In the first Act, the boy, despite arriving while Pozzo and Lucky are still about, does not announce himself until after Pozzo and Lucky leave, saying to Vladimir and Estragon that he waited for the other two to leave out of fear of the two men and of Pozzo's whip; the boy does not arrive early enough in Act II to see either Lucky or Pozzo.
In both Acts, the boy seems hesitant to speak very much, saying mostly "Yes Sir" or "No Sir", and winds up exiting by running away. Godot[ edit ] The identity of Godot has been the subject of much debate. It is just implied in the text, but it's not true. The first is that because feet are a recurring theme in the play, Beckett has said the title was suggested to him by the slang French term for boot: This seemed to disappoint him greatly.
But you must remember — I wrote the play in French, and if I did have that meaning in my mind, it was somewhere in my unconscious and I was not overtly aware of it. However, "Beckett has often stressed the strong unconscious impulses that partly control his writing; he has even spoken of being 'in a trance ' when he writes.
Unlike elsewhere in Beckett's work, no bicycle appears in this play, but Hugh Kenner in his essay "The Cartesian Centaur"  reports that Beckett once, when asked about the meaning of Godot, mentioned "a veteran racing cyclist, bald, a 'stayer', recurrent placeman in town-to-town and national championships, Christian name elusive, surname Godeau, pronounced, of course, no differently from Godot.
Beckett himself said the emphasis should be on the first syllable, and that the North American pronunciation is a mistake. Borchardt checked with Beckett's nephew, Edward, who told him his uncle pronounced it that way as well. Two men are waiting on a country road by a tree. The men are of unspecified origin, though it is clear that they are not English by nationality since they refer to currency as francsand tell derisive jokes about the English — and in English-language productions the pair are traditionally played with Irish accents.
The script calls for Estragon to sit on a low mound but in practice—as in Beckett's own German production—this is usually a stone. In the first act the tree is bare. In the second, a few leaves have appeared despite the script specifying that it is the next day.
The minimal description calls to mind "the idea of the lieu vague, a location which should not be particularised". In Act I, Vladimir turns toward the auditorium and describes it as a bog. In the Cackon country! Interpretations[ edit ] "Because the play is so stripped down, so elemental, it invites all kinds of social and political and religious interpretation", wrote Normand Berlin in a tribute to the play in Autumn"with Beckett himself placed in different schools of thought, different movements and 'ism's.
The attempts to pin him down have not been successful, but the desire to do so is natural when we encounter a writer whose minimalist art reaches for bedrock reality. There are ritualistic aspects and elements taken directly from vaudeville  and there is a danger in making more of these than what they are: The play "exploits several archetypal forms and situations, all of which lend themselves to both comedy and pathos.
Of course you use it. As far back ashe remarked, "Why people have to complicate a thing so simple I can't make out. Although he had overseen many productions, this was the first time that he had taken complete control. Walter Asmus was his conscientious young assistant director. The production was not naturalistic. Beckett explained, It is a game, everything is a game.
When all four of them are lying on the ground, that cannot be handled naturalistically.
Patience is a virtue in theatre of the absurd
That has got to be done artificially, balletically. Otherwise everything becomes an imitation, an imitation of reality [ It should become clear and transparent, not dry. It is a game in order to survive. Beckett himself sanctioned "one of the most famous mixed-race productions of Godot, performed at the Baxter Theatre in the University of Cape Towndirected by Donald Howarthwith [ The Baxter production has often been portrayed as if it were an explicitly political production, when in fact it received very little emphasis.
What such a reaction showed, however, was that, although the play can in no way be taken as a political allegorythere are elements that are relevant to any local situation in which one man is being exploited or oppressed by another. Graham Hassell writes, "[T]he intrusion of Pozzo and Lucky [ This, some feel, is an inevitable consequence of Beckett's rhythms and phraseology, but it is not stipulated in the text.
At any rate, they are not of English stock: Dukore defines the characters by what they lack: Di-di id-id — who is more instinctual and irrational — is seen as the backward id or subversion of the rational principle. Godot fulfills the function of the superego or moral standards. Pozzo and Lucky are just re-iterations of the main protagonists.
Patience is a virtue in theatre of the absurd
Dukore finally sees Beckett's play as a metaphor for the futility of man's existence when salvation is expected from an external entity, and the self is denied introspection. The shadow is the container of all our despised emotions repressed by the ego. Lucky, the shadow, serves as the polar opposite of the egocentric Pozzo, prototype of prosperous mediocrity, who incessantly controls and persecutes his subordinate, thus symbolising the oppression of the unconscious shadow by the despotic ego.
Lucky's monologue in Act I appears as a manifestation of a stream of repressed unconsciousness, as he is allowed to "think" for his master. Estragon's name has another connotation, besides that of the aromatic herb, tarragon: This prompts us to identify him with the animathe feminine image of Vladimir's soul.
It explains Estragon's propensity for poetry, his sensitivity and dreams, his irrational moods. The barren place symbolizes the bareness of life, dead tree with two or three leaves represents the life has no hope but little. Estragon and Vladimir are already outcast from society, all alone in the middle of nowhere, their use of repetitive words, lack of imagination; all will be discussed in this paper elaborately.
Even they cannot move from this place because they are assured that one day Godot will come. They have a hope that Godot will come tomorrow. They spend their time waiting for Godot, which does not make them happy and satisfied, but rather only makes them miserable and disconsolate.
Nevertheless, Estragon and Vladimir strongly believe in the uncertainty of life, therefore, they do not attempt to make any changes, because everything they have done will vanish in an instant, resulting in no reward for their time and hard work.
When their subconscious mind becomes aware of their existence as at the end of Act I Estragon said: However, the play sometime confuses us and causes us to wonder if the play really has any meaning, or if the pair Vladimir and Estragon were just playing games with useless words. According to Nealon throughout the play when Vladimir and Estragon forget about Godot they are happy and inventive in their language games, but repeatedly they come to Godot and become disappointed because of they even cannot leave the place: Oh yes, let's go far away from here.
We have to come back tomorrow. To wait for Godot. They wait for Godot, instead of searching him out, and, though they want to leave, they never do. By the end of the play, one gets the feeling that the two will remain in that strange place forever, waiting for a man who will never come: So after independence he began to write on the theme of surrealism and existentialism.
As a result, there are no characters, no real dialogue, no setting and no development of theme in his dramas; these have just an abstract and indeterminate subject confronting its own subjectivity which leads to absurd drama.
They have hope one day Godot will surely come. For whom, the tramps feel trapped, they have freedom to do whatever they want except only one crucial freedom, freedom to leave from that spot, from life, from everything; briefly speaking they have to play the role which was prescribed to them by some uncertain force or situation. According to Pozzo man is born, grows old and dies; the sun rises and sets; bare trees sprout leaves and will be bare again; it is called cyclical movement but absent of the redeemer transcendent power God or Godot never comes to escape from this cyclical existential trap.
Lucky is to be sold at the fair; though he is a human being but oppressed worker and dehumanized proletariat now becomes a commodity. He carries luggage filled with sand and treated as machine; on the other hand, Pozzo is perfect piece of landowning class.
Pozzo compels Lucky to do thing which Pozzo can easily do. The original draft suggests that Pozzo is really Godot but fails and refuses to recognize the two tramps so Godot here becomes cruel and vain. Thus, Becket criticized capitalism and consumerism of society by illustrating a vague figure.
Nietzsche teaches us that there is no ultimate meaning to human existence, since God is dead, life without God is meaningless.
So, there are no easy solutions of these two tramps to the mystery of existence, because ultimately man is alone in a meaningless world. Beckett, Kafka and other absurd writers combine the existential philosophy of which heroes respond the same cultural and spiritual situation with realism and intuition of the absurdity that reflect in human existence. So, Beckett here also criticizes the language, which does not provide coherent meaning.
Such a sense of loss of meaning and lack of communication must lead to a question of existence. Modern man at once confronts familiar scene which turns into a nightmare and horror at the next time, hence, the language becomes obscure and bubble as a foreign language.
With the loss of means of communication they are compelled to view the world with the eyes of total outsiders and their language became meaningless. The people talking about weather have no intention whether or really exchange meaningful information on the subject; they are merely using language to fill the emptiness between them, or to conceal the fact that they have no desire to feel each other anything at all, or they are not concerned about others feelings, or they are just passing time.