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

1702 words - 7 pages

Samuel Beckett was Nobel Prize winning author, a modernist, the last true modernist according to many. Beckett is credited for creating “The Theater of The Absurd”. The Theater of The Absurd is a term coined by Matin Esslin, a term first used in his 1962 book of that same title. The basis for this “absurdness” was to show the idea that mans lifetime was in the strictest sense, meaningless and that our universe and creation was inexplicable and any attempt to find meaning was absurd. In the 20th century this idea was present in the productions of modern artist who looked to distance themselves from conventional theater. Of all however, “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett, is the most ...view middle of the document...

Another example is Vladimir’s attitude, he is the stronger and wiser of the two whereas Estragon is a more innocent and less intellectual individual, both however develop a need for one another. Numerous times they threaten to leave one another but its all in vague. According to William Hutchings “Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot: a reference guide”, Vladimir and Estragon need each other, they bring each other hope as it seems nobody in the world has a need for them and they help each other pass the time while waiting for Godot, which would be filled with excruciating boredom and lonesomeness if they were not together.

The relationship between Vladimir and Estragon and Pozzo and Lucky can be categorized as essential. Without each others company as previously stated, their very existence is well, not existent. They bring one another company and compensate for the isolation and loneliness they would have if not together. In addition, there is a sign of submission in both relationships, first Estragon is very influenced by what Vladimir and Estragon say, just alike Lucky is obviously Pozzo’s slave and has to submit to all his commands (Hutchings 24).The effect created by the contrast of both relationship is evil, Pozzo and Lucky’s relationship is filled with abuse and mistreatment, and although the both have a need of one another, they cannot fully come to grasp to how to make it work.

The fact that the characters appear in pair is very significant. What Samuel Beckett seems to be trying to show is humans relationship and the deeper meaning behind those relationships, one of the reasons for relationships is to compliment the attributes, both good and bad, such as Vladimir’s’ and Estragon’s. Also the significant of them showing in pairs is simply existence, without a partner or some form of company, humans would be filled with complete loneliness thus any feeling of hope or desire of life.

Although the play does contain religious symbols and references, it does not warrant a religious reading. In no way does it follow any Christian or any other religious principles, it is rather an attempt of Beckett to explore a more risqué type of writing. In regards to Godot, he however can be considered a Christ figure and Vladimir and Estragon eagerly await his arrival and mention him as if he was a symbol of hope.

Vladimir’s reference to the two thieves on the cross are also a way of Beckett referring to the characters on the play as the two thieves and Godot the Christ who brings hope (The Meaninglessness of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot). Godots failure to appear however may be an attempt of Beckett to show that there is either no Christ or that Christ was just a man that and there was no resurrection or hope that came from him. Estragon’s attempt to equate himself to Christ is another attempt of Beckett to use writing to poke fun at religion and those who believe in living a life that is Christ-like because that is one of the messages...

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