The Theme Of Uncertainty In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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The Theme of ‘Uncertainty’ in Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot is the English translation of the famous post war French play En Attendant Godot by Samuel Beckett written between 1948 and 1949. The plot of the play revolves around two tramps- Vladimir and Estragon who waits for the arrival of an acquaintance named “Godot”. However, Godot never comes and throughout the play, these two tramps engage themselves in various discussions, activities, and encounters. Being a play that belongs to the ‘Theatre of absurd”, it beautifully puts forth the idea of existentialism and expresses that when human existence has no meaning or purpose, it eventually breaks down all communication. The theme of ‘uncertainty’ is very common in the plays that belong
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The play is divided into two acts however; we do not see any kind of development in the storyline. Both of the acts are more or less the same. From this, we can consider that these two acts actually are a small representation of the entire story of two tramps Vladimir and Estragon who waits for a mysterious character ‘Godot’ who never comes to visit them. Therefore, we can see that theme of certainty lies in the very character of ‘Godot’. The audience or the readers do not know who ‘Godot’ is. The identity of ‘Godot’ remains uncertain throughout the play. Many critics assume that ‘Godot’ can actually mean ‘God’ however, Beckett strongly denies of this assumption of ‘Godot’ referring ‘God’. The uncertainty of the plot can also be seen where Vladimir pretends not to recognize Pozzo and Lucky in the first act. However, in the second act the event takes place in the other way around where Pozzo refuses to meet Vladimir and Estragon …show more content…
Each character that present in the play is uncertain of their identity and their states of existence. First, the character of ‘Godot’, who never arrives. This shows that the existence of ‘Godot’ itself is uncertain. Further, comes the uncertainty of their identity. In the play the name of the tramps are Vladimir and Estragon. Whereas Vladimir calls Estragon Gogo and Estragon calls Vladimir Didi. However, we see that during their encounter with Pozzo and Lucky Estragon introduces himself as Adam. Again, when the ‘boy’ appears he calls Vladimir by the name of Mr. Albert. In the act II, also when Pozzo and Lucky reappear the tramps address them as Cain and Abel, which is also an allusion to the Bible. We can also see Estragon asking Vladimir why they are not leaving several times and Vladimir constantly reminding Estragon that they are waiting for Godot. This also shows the uncertain state of their mind and existence, which is a parallel representation of the state of the entire

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