In Waiting for Godot, Beckett often focused on the idea of "the suffering of being." Most of the play deals with the fact that Estragon and Vladimir are waiting for something to relieve them from their boredom. Godot can be understood as one of the many things in life that people wait for. Waiting for Godot is part of the ‘Theater of the Absurd’. This implies that it is meant to be irrational and meaningless. Absurd theater does not have the concepts of drama, chronological plot, logical language, themes, and recognizable settings. There is also a split between the intellect and the body within the work. Vladimir represents the intellect and Estragon the body, both cannot exist without the other.
In the beginning we are thrown into the absurd situation/conversation in which Vladimir and Estragon are in. We as readers have no idea how long they have been there or waiting already before we start reading. In the middle of the play the conversations are repeated over and over and nothing really makes sense. The ending is not clear in the play, it technically does not end however, it leaves the reader to wonder is that because the writer stopped writing. They say they are going to leave but they never actually do. Readers are left to wonder how long they actually wait and if Godot finally makes his way to see Vladimir and Estragon to discuss whatever they had planned to discuss.
The theme as well as the plot shows an uncertain set up of events, however there is no true beginning, middle, or end forming a circular pattern which can be found in our everyday lives. Even the characters lack detailed information drawing the reader to question why and realize the absurdity.
"The Theatre of the Absurd strives to express its sense of the senslessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of the rational approach by the open abandonment of rational devices and discursive thought." (Esslin, 24). This quote by Esslin points out that we as humans can be irrational an/or fall into a routine in our lives that we may get stuck in and not even know it. Vladamir and Estragon themselves are stuck in the circle rotation of life. They used to go places and do fun things together like Vladamir states: "Hand in hand from the top of the Eiffel Tower, among the first. We were respectable in those days. Now it's too late. They wouldn't even let us up. (Estragon tears at his boot.) What are you doing?" He is recalling the past where he and Estragon have been to Paris and had a fun time and thinking that now that they are stuck in their rut waiting for Godot they may never make it back there again, and even if they did Vladamir says that they would no longer be respected or allowed up to the top. Life has passed them by and they have wasted precious time waiting for Godot who may or may not show up.
The lack of memory in Waiting for Godot establishes a world of absurdity and purposelessness. VLADIMIR:A—. What are you insinuating? That we've come to the wrong place? ESTRAGON:He should be here.
VLADIMIR:He didn't say for sure he'd come.
ESTRAGON:And if he doesn't come?
VLADIMIR:We'll come back tomorrow.
ESTRAGON:And then the day after tomorrow.
ESTRAGON:And so on.
VLADIMIR:The point is—
ESTRAGON:Until he comes.
ESTRAGON:We came here yesterday.
VLADIMIR:Ah no, there you're mistaken.
ESTRAGON:What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR:What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR:Why . . . (Angrily.) Nothing is certain when you're about. ESTRAGON:In my opinion we were here.
VLADIMIR:(looking round). You recognize the place?
ESTRAGON:I didn't say that.
ESTRAGON:That makes no difference
If they cannot recall where they were there the day before or cannot remember the day before, how do they know before the boy comes and tells them Godot cannot make it that day and will come tomorrow that Godot didnt come the day before and they just cannot remember it.
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