Is the label tragic-comedy truly suitable for the drama Waiting for Godot? A tragic-comedy by definition, is a work which intertwines elements both tragic and comic in nature. This characterization can be questioned as to its legitimacy in its application to Waiting for Godot. However, such skepticism of the classification will soon be expunged. Necessarily, examples of tragic and comic techniques, as well as theme, will be identified and confirmed as content within the story.
A Tragic-comedy is a play which claims a plot fit for tragedy but which ends happily like a comedy. The action is serious in theme and subject matter and tone also sometimes, but it seems to be a tragic catastrophe until an unexpected turn in events brings out the happy ending. The characters of a tragic-comedy are noble but they are involved in improbabilities. In such a play tragic and comic elements are mixed together. Fletcher, in his Preface to the Faithful Shepherdess, defines a tragic-comedy as: “A tragic-comedy is not so called in respect to mirth and killing, but in respect it wants death which is enough to make it no tragedy. Shakespeare’s ‘Cymbeline’ and ‘The Winter’s Tale’ may also be categorized as tragic-comedy.” Time is clearly presented as a tragedy and creates many hardships in Waiting for Godot. Waiting is generally perceived negatively and is the central focus of the story. The two main characters Estragon and Vladimir, are forced to waste away their days while awaiting the arrival of a man who never comes. Estragon and Vladimir have nothing to do in the meantime and in result time becomes a dreaded inevitability that they must endure. Because they extensively repeat the same actions, time is cyclical. Each character seems to have a faulty memory, which further proves problematic. For example, this is seen in a conversation between Vladimir and Estragon: Vladimir: “That passed the time.” Estragon: “It would have passed in any case.” Vladimir:...
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