Analysis Of Beckett 's ' The ' Waiting For Godot ' Essay

1722 Words Oct 26th, 2015 7 Pages
“A tragicomedy in two acts” is the subtitle of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Despite this, over the years, many critics have attempted to decide which one the play is: a tragedy or a comedy. Beckett himself ignored any critic that attempted to decide upon one genre because in truth, there is no way to decide. Godot is as much a tragedy as it is a comedy, and the two blur together to form an inseparable combination. Whilst the two genres may battle for supremacy throughout the piece, they are better defined not by their quantity but what they bring to the play as a whole. Without the comedy, Godot would be over two hours of the most depressing existentialism an audience had ever seen, but without the tragedy the message would be lost; that in this play “In which nothing happens, twice"1 the futility of human endeavour is truly shown.
Beckett juxtaposes the polar opposites of comedy and tragedy to highlight the uncertainty and, to a certain degree, uneasiness of the world of Godot. As Normand Berlin points out, “This strategy of balances pushes the audience into an atmosphere of uncertainty.”2 In one way, the world the characters live in is full of despair, emptiness and monotony, constantly waiting for one man who never arrives. Estragon and Vladimir spend their entire stage lives performing futile actions to nobody’s satisfaction, especially not their own. On the other hand, the two find comedy within themselves. With their bowler hats and ill-fitting clothes, both characters…

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