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English, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Becket, Essay

Par   •  9 Septembre 2018  •  1 982 Mots (8 Pages)  •  787 Vues

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reply is a single word: “wait.” The same dialogue occurs after a similar pause in the second act when Vladimir declares that they must wait for Godot. This pattern of conversations occur a number of times whenever the characters have exhausted their trivial conversation and whenever they can no longer find some activity to help them pass the time, they think of leaving. Yet, the conclusion is ever the same: they must wait for Godot. Thus, these conversations resemble a circle.

Another feature of the circular structure in Waiting for Godot is the theme of uncertainty. Vladimir and Estragon want to to reassure their own existence of which they are not always certain since the evidence of their senses is debatable. They are, in fact, in constant need of a re-assurance. They cannot remember having met Pozzo and Lucky before. The little boy, Godot’s messenger, flatly denies ever having seen them before when Vladimir asks:“You did see us, didn’t you?”.

Through his works, Beckett and tries to find an answer to how to get through life in Waiting for Godot. The answer seems to be this: by force of habit, by going on in spite of pain, boredom and hopelessness. On these terms, Christ, according to Vladimir, was lucky because: “Where he lived, it was warm and dry and they crucified quick.” The opening words in the play present the theme the suffering of being. This is clear when Estragon addresses Vladimir saying: “Nothing to be done” and Vladimir’s suggestion is that: “I’m beginning to come round to that opinion.”(29) Thus, the subject of the play is how to pass the time, given the fact that the situation is hopeless.

In other words, the play is a dramatization of the themes that continually are repeated in Beckett’s works: boredom and suffering of man. Such themes are fielding to the circular structure that we face in the play. The play, then, is tragic in the sense that it portrays man as a victim of himself, a victim of his own finite nature.

This play has repetitions, rounded events in which nothing changes and nothing is solved. Everything is static. There is no solution to the problems of man in the hopeless world. The structure is central to the thought of the play for it is made to reflect the absurdity and meaninglessness of life and all the elements of the play: the characters, themes, setting, dialogue serve to reflect and emphasize the circular structure in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

However, the reader cannot limit himself to just this plot, characters and dialogues overview since as we look in detail variations are made.

The biggest difference between Acts 1 and 2 in the play are the reversal of fortune firstly for Pozzo and Lucky. Whereas Pozzo was clearly the master and Lucky was his slave in Act 1, in Act 2 Pozzo is blind and Lucky mute. They have become dependant on each other for survival.At first, Pozzo was dominating Lucky but now he is the one being dominated by Estragon and Vladimir s they leave him helpless on the floor for a considerable amount of time: “you mean we have him at our mercy?”. Pozzo passes to a position of power, whilst claiming he is a landowner and having a more authoritative tone with others: “Up scum!”, to a submissive one crying “help”. Not only do Lucky and Pozzo have a slight character development, but Vladimir and Estragon do to.

The play develops as Pozzo and Lucky’s characters have a noticeable impact on Estragon and Vladimir who try to imitate them in act 2 as Vladimir says: “the other, pig”. Using the adjective “pig” as Pozzo did when speaking to Lucky. Hence this emphasizes the relationship between the two characters that is explored in different ways through the play. Following the idea of role reversal, the two last lines of act 1

(ESTRAGON:Well, shall we go? VLADIMIR:Yes, let’s go. - They do not move.)

are repeated in act 2 but this time instead of having Estragon say the first line and Vladimir the last, Vladimir says the first and Estragon says the last.

To Vladimir and Estragon, each day, seem to be new since as their memory limits to remembering very little. In the end, they do not notice the occasional repetitiveness of their lives since it disappears from their thoughts. This is shown in Act 2 as they cannot recall what they did yesterday. Only Estragon seems to remember a little: “Yes, now I remember, yesterday evening we spent blathering about nothing in particular”. This adds to the ambiguity of the play as a never ending cycle of confusion and uncertainty. In addition, in act 2 Pozzo and Lucky do not remember meeting them the day before and the boy who delivers the message about Godot also does not remember them.

As another adjustment made in Act 2, in contrast with act 1, is the tree who is now covered in leaves. This emphasizes the theme of evolution and time: “It must be spring” as Estragon says, spring being the symbol of renewal and rebirth. This makes the reader/spectator question on whether we are actually the next day, as in 24 hours later, or has a longer time period pass to give time to the tree to flourish?

To conclude, the critic who said that Waiting for Godot was a play in which "nothing happens, twice", was not far wrong. The keynote to this play is to be found in the memorable words which Estragon utters with regard to his own life and the life of his friend, Vladimir: "nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!" Because of the strange paucity of action and situation in the play, the reader is left questioning on the repetitiveness of the play, if there is any in the end. As a bold note, the play of Samuel Beckett is indeed drowned in repetition but small variations make it actually amusing to the spectator who is desperately searching for something to grab on in order to follow the “plot” of the


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