The Meaninglessness of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

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In Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett produces a truly cryptic work. On first analyzing the play, one is not sure of what, if anything, happens or of the title character's significance. In attempting to unravel the themes of the play, interpreters have extracted a wide variety symbolism from the Godot's name. Some, taking an obvious hint, have proposed that Godot represents God and that the play is centered on religious symbolism. Others have taken the name as deriving from the French word for a boot, godillot. Still, others have suggested a connection between Godot and Godeau, a character who never appears in Honore de Balzac's Mercadet; Ou, le faiseur. Through all these efforts, there is still no definitive answer as to whom or what Godot represents, and the writer has denied that Godot represents a specific thing, despite a certain ambiguity in the name. Upon study, however, one realizes that this ambiguity in meaning is the exact meaning of Godot. Though he seems to create greater symbolism and significance in the name Godot, Beckett actually rejects the notion of truth in language through the insignificance of the title character's name. By creating a false impression of religious symbolism in the name Godot Beckett leads the interpreter to a dead end.

For one to make an association between God and the title character's name is completely logical. In fact, in producing the completely obvious allusion, Beckett beckons the interpreter to follow a path of religious symbolism. Throughout the play, references to Christianity are so often mentioned that one can scarcely identify a religious undercurrent; the presence of religion is not really below the surface. In the opening moments of the play, Vladimir asks "Hope deferred make something sick, who said that?" (8A). The real quotation, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," comes from Proverbs 13:12 of the Bible. Shortly after, Vladimir asks if Estragon has ever read the Bible and continues on a discussion of...
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