Juxtaposition Of Elements Of Tragedy And Comedy In 'waiting For Godot'

1115 words - 5 pages

To what extent is the juxtaposition of elements of tragedy and comedy in this extract typical of the interplay of these forms in the rest of ‘Waiting for Godot’?

‘Waiting for Godot’, written by Samuel Beckett, is a play which has no subtext, leaving the audience to make up their own mind about the direction of the play. Its subtitle is ‘A tragic comedy in two Acts’, which is clearly presented throughout the whole of the play. The constant juxtaposition of tragedy and comedy makes the play almost meaningless, yet is still entertaining for the audience. Aristotle said that a tragedy should move the audience by depicting suffering and pain. Beckett achieves this, yet contrasts the suffering ...view middle of the document...

It allows the audience to see Estragon and Vladimir’s life as tragic, but their inability to realise how tragic it is makes it humorous.

Repetition is also used to depict Vladimir and Estragon’s tragic situation, yet adds a comedic effect:
‘What about hanging ourselves? … I hadn’t thought of that’
Here, Beckett provokes the reader to feel sympathy for Vladimir and Estragon, by showing the hopelessness of their situation, and their feelings to commit suicide. This relates back to Aristotle’s idea of tragedy, that it should move the audience by depicting suffering and pain. However, Vladimir and Estragon discuss it with a careless attitude, which contrasts their suffering with comedic ideas towards their gloomy situation. This is repeated twice more in ‘Waiting for Godot’, once at the end of Act one, and again at the end of Act two. They discuss it both times with a careless attitude, yet do not act upon it. This comedic repetition relates back to the fact there is ‘nothing to be done’, and the possibility of hanging themselves as a conversation topic makes the audience sympathise with Estragon and Vladimir, as the audience realise that the characters’ position in life will never change. The idea of ‘”Waiting” for Godot’ is shown to be that they will always be waiting for him. The use of words such as ‘saying’, ‘falling’, and ‘wriggling’ and ‘asking’ all have an ‘ing’ ending, showing that it is an ongoing process, which seems to be never ending. Therefore, this creates a constant tragic element in the play for the audience, as they are the only people who realise that it is never ending for the characters.

The way Estragon and Vladimir interact with each other is also used to juxtapose elements of comedy and tragedy throughout the play. They often finish each others sentences, or guess what the other one is about to say:
‘Estragon: What exactly did we ask him for? … We’ve no rights any more?’
The short exchanges they have about Godot shows the closeness of the two characters, and that they spend a lot of time together. They are reassuring themselves about Godot coming, yet still remain uncertain about what he wants. Their uncertainty reflects the play, as nothing is definite at any point...

Other Papers Like Juxtaposition of Elements of Tragedy and Comedy in 'Waiting for Godot'

Waiting for Godot Essay

1198 words - 5 pages Pastiche on Waiting for Godot The Theatre of the Absurd is a style of writing which portrays human life as a meaningless and futile existence resulting in one’s inevitable death. Similar to the Lost Generation movement created as a result of the death and destruction of World War I, the Theatre of the Absurd is a reaction to World War II in which the war survivors felt as though death was inevitable and therefore nothing in one’s existence

Who or What Is Waited for in Waiting for Godot

1018 words - 5 pages Waiting for Godot  is hailed as a classic example of the "Theatre of the Absurd," Such dramatic works present a world in which daily actions are without meaning, language fails to effectively communicate. The characters reflect a sense of artifice, even wondering aloud whether perhaps they are on a stage. Waiting for Godot begins with two men on a barren road by a leafless tree. These men, Vladimir and Estragon, are often characterized as

Hopelessness in Albert Camus' The Plague and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

839 words - 4 pages Hopelessness in Albert Camus' The Plague and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot   Does Existentialism deny the existence of God? Can God possibly exist in a world full of madness and injustice? Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett address these questions in The Plague and Waiting for Godot. Though their thinking follows the ideals of existentialism, their conclusions are different. Camus did not believe in God, nor did he agree with the

The Supernatural Elements Displayed In The Tragedy Of Macbeth

1311 words - 6 pages elements in The Tragedy of Macbeth show Macbeth’s quest for power, and also lead to his tragic downfall. The supernatural elements displayed also bring out the fear and mystery of the play. Without the supernatural in the play it would not have been as expressive. Shakespeare’s utilization of the play’s supernatural elements: nature, ghosts, and, witches, enhances the entire scheme of the play. Works Cited Grace

Tragedy and Comedy

1089 words - 5 pages Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy A tragedy is defined as beginning with a problem that affects everyone, i.e. the whole town or all the characters involved, the tragic hero must solve this problem and this results in his banishment or death [run-on sentence]. A comedy is defined as also beginning with a problem, but one of less significant importance. The characters try to solve the problem and the story ends with all the characters

Comedy and Tragedy

1117 words - 5 pages condemned to certain endings. Some plays may lie under both genres, some may lie under one or the other, and in some cases, a play may have no association with either of the two. Trifles for instance, is a tragic play beginning with a death, but including hints of dark humour, with an overall theme including tragedy, comedy and, most importantly, mystery. Sanchez’s The Bronx is Next, might also be considered to include both themes while also delving

How Do the Medieval Elements of Drama Acquire Some Elizabethan Qualities in the Spanish Tragedy

1371 words - 6 pages . Revenge tragedy in its general sense defines the real dramatic motivation behind which blood and violence lies. Kyd, as an Elizabethan dramatist wanted to show his uniqueness with academic tradition and for this he owns a great deal to Lucius Annaceus Seneca who was a successful dramatist of Roman tyrants. In Senecan tragedies blood-revenge for murder, supernatural elements and delay are presented in realistic perspective. This style is

Comedic Value In "In Praise Of Comedy"

1216 words - 5 pages meant for, regardless of success again reinforces the theory that contradictions are an integral part of comedy. Comedy thrives by replacing situations and actions with results that would not occur as James Feibleman states, and his theory is supported through Janik, Bergson, and Golden, but many more examples of this can be found through other peoples research. According to Erve Chambers in the essay, “Thalia's Revenge: Ethnography and Theory of

The Meaning and Use of Writing Elements in Titling Poems

1183 words - 5 pages The Meaning and Use of Writing Elements in Titling Poems Titling pieces of literature can be considered an art in itself. Titles in poetry, no matter the length, use different poetic writing elements to add clarity, value, or meaning to the poem whether the title guides the reader to understand or pushes the reader to search for a deeper meaning in the poem. Poems such as “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop, “The

Elements Of Myth And Folklore In Hemingway's Stories

1927 words - 8 pages Human dignity, morality, and the formation of human individuality through mental strife and the struggle against nature are often themes of Hemingway. In my research paper I will show how elements of folklore, myth, and fables support these themes in the stories "The Old Man and the Sea," "Indian Camp," "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Through comparative analysis of these stories' underlying themes I

Evolution of Comedy

1079 words - 5 pages Comedy has evolved in many ways over the past two thousand years or so since the writings of Plautus and Aristophanes, and yet, there are many things that remain the same. When you look at modern comedy, such as the film "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," the connections between old Greek Comedy and the humor that exists today are very apparent. More specifically, when comparing the film to Plautus' Mostellaria one can see that

Related Essays

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot: The Theater Of The Absurd

1702 words - 7 pages not seen first hand, rather in the results of events such as Pozzo’s blindness and the fact that Godot never actually appears. Still, the play contains more elements of comedy than those of tragedy, mainly in the dialect between the characters, filled with foolishness and repetitive scenes between the characters who seemed to get nowhere. In the same way comedy is applied to the role of memory in this play. Memory or lack thereof is a theme

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot And The Theater Of The Absurd

975 words - 4 pages decide on his own, or he merely wants to annoy the reader with this long, rambling, nonsense.But more importantly, Waiting for Godot illustrates an attitude toward man's experience on earth: the poignancy, oppression, camaraderie, hope, corruption, scum, and bewilderment at the human antithesis that can only be reconciled in mind of the absurdist. If Godot is God, then Didi and Gogo's (mankind's) faith in God has almost entirely disappeared. Yet the illusion of faith--that deeply embedded hope that Godot might come--still flickers in the minds of Vladimir and Estragon. It is almost as if these two men see no reason to have faith, but cannot renounce it completely.

Elements Of Tragedy In Macbeth Essay

653 words - 3 pages Elements of Tragedy in Macbeth Shakespearean tragedies always have a noble, heroic central character. Normally we hear about from other characters before he actual enters into the play. We are also, given the first impression of the greatness of the tragic hero through the eyes of others. “...But all’s too weak; for brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name); disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, ...carved out his

Waiting For Godot Essay

713 words - 3 pages Austin Druckemiller Period 4 Waiting For Godot Waiting for Godot has been my main thought for about two hours now.  While considering the work, its author, and the comments I have found about the play, I have come up with three hypotheses as to the meaning and theme. As I will explain my three hypotheses in my next few paragraphs, I would like to put forth my most accepted theory, and the answer that Samuel Beckett, the author of the play