The Absurdity in Waiting for Godot

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The Absurdity in Waiting for Godot

By | December 2011
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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...
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