How Funny Do You Find ‘Waiting for Godot'? Explore the Ways in Which Beckett Uses Humour in the Play and the Likely Impact That This Would Have on the Audience.

1044 Words May 21st, 2007 5 Pages
Although ‘Waiting for Godot' is seen to be very depressing and contains many elements which may mark it as a tragedy, the four characters create a great deal of humour in their mannerisms and their behaviour. Beckett created the concept of ‘The Theatre of the Absurd', a play on human emotions and character which may give off feelings of despair, yet also of humour simultaneously. Most of the time, the audience tends to laugh at the helplessness created by Vladimir and Estragon in the play, and the play can be seen to be very funny at times, a prime example being when every character present has fallen to the floor and is supposedly unable to get up. Beckett uses humour for a number of different purposes in the play, which will be outlined …show more content…
Humour is used in this case to create a more relaxed atmosphere, as previously Vladimir and Estragon had suffered some tension in their friendship. The audience may have felt some sympathy for the two tramps, who have only carrots and turnips to eat, but I think Beckett would rather the audience see this in a humorous light, which explains Estragon's bluntness in displaying his disgust.

As Pozzo arrives, being dragged along by his human slave, Lucky, like a chariot, there is something distinctly funny to the audience about a human riding another human like a chariot. Lucky's actions are also designed by Beckett to be amusing, almost trotting like a horse. The reference to the play as a tragicomedy comes into play here, as although it is very amusing to watch Pozzo's entry, one can also feel a great deal of sympathy for Lucky, being mistreated as if he weren't human. This contrast is used by Beckett to play on the emotions of the audience, leaving them in a dilemma as to how they should react to this entry. Again, Becket relates to the theatre of the absurd, which is a crucial concept in the play, having a distinct effect on the audience.
I think Beckett's uses of stage directions in the play are effective in creating amusing actions and gestures by the characters: ‘Vladimir uses his intelligence'. Although an audience will merely see Vladimir in thought, and will not react very strongly to this, a reader like myself reading the play will undoubtedly find this

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