Themes And Metaphors In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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“Waiting for Godot” uses stage direction, parallels, uncertainty, and a tragicomedy approach in order to show that Estragon and Vladimir’s lives are meaningless. This also extends to eventually convey Samuel Beckett’s larger commentary on the purpose of human existence. Beckett wants to show how every individual’s life has no purpose or meaning. Before any thorough analysis can be made, it is important to understand the larger, extended metaphor that is this play—a metaphor for humankind. This idea is first introduced at the beginning of Pozzo’s first entrance:
Estragon: “We are not from these parts, sir”
Pozzo: “You are human beings none the less…Of the same species as myself…Made in God’s image!” (15)
This demonstrates the first allusion
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(6)
This entire interaction strongly portrays this uncertainty. Though the location is the first uncertainty, the tree itself also becomes another point of doubt. One line in particular that adds to this confusion is when Vladimir says “a willow” (6) directly after he says “I don’t know” (6). This paradoxical statement is simply used to further show how Vladimir and Estragon are confused and unknowing. There is comedy here in the simple idea that these two characters are very lost and confused. However, the underlying aspects are clearly much more tragic. In order to reinforce the idea that the play is a metaphor for actual humanity, the parallel between the actual characters’ uncertainty and the audience’s uncertainty is made. First, staging is used as the bare tree develops into having “four or five leaves.” (47). This creates uncertainty among the time that has passed in the audience. In addition, the boy also calls Vladimir “Mister Albert…?” (39) many times leading to the question: does the boy just not know Vladimir’s name or is Godot actually looking for an Albert and not Vladimir or Estragon at all? We are prevented from ever understanding the play because it is absurdist and uncertainty is everywhere. These parallels are essential to showing the interconnectedness of the two different worlds of fiction (the play) and reality. It is important to realize the tragedy behind this uncertainty, especially when placed upon the distracting tasks and stage direction.
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We are waiting for Godot to come—.” (70). The irony here is that the one purpose they have that could give them an escape from this boredom is actually based within uncertainty for they do not even know who Godot is, when he will be coming, where he will be coming, or even if he will ever come at all. This begins to tie together the uncertainty with the boredom and show that they both work together to give the tragic idea that life is meaningless and without

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